….that’s the view of the one consumer group asked for their opinion of who’s the best driver and who should know…. kids!.
And the kids weren’t slow at coming up with the bad points of their parents driving: ‘bad music’ ‘loud singing’ and ‘shouting at other drivers’
‘Eating sweets’ named as kids’ favourite thing about car journeys
In an RAC survey of 1,000 children aged five to seven (carried out by Dubit*), over half of kids said that Dad was the better driver out of their parents. Mums also took second place when it came to parking the family car, with 58 per cent of kids citing their fathers as the better parker, compared to just 36 per cent who backed their Mum.
But when it came to having fun in the car there was one clear winner, with Mums comfortably beating Dads by almost two to one as the best car companions.
The kids then went on to dish the dirt about their parents’ most annoying habits behind the wheel. While they proved relatively tolerant to ‘speeding’, ‘ honking the horn’ and the use of ‘rude words’, 43pc moaned about their parents’ bad taste in music, 34pc were driven crazy by their off-key and out-of-tune singing, and 21pc cringed at their embarrassing habit of shouting at other drivers.
The results also showed that mums were 20pc more likely to be guilty of bad language than dads.
When it came to in-car entertainment the rise in popularity of technology became clear, with 32pc of kids enjoying DVDs and playing on iPhones and iPads. And although playing games with their family and visiting service stations proved popular choices, the opportunity to eat plenty of sweets was selected as the best thing about a trip in the car.
And whilst grandma and grandpa finished last on the list of driving prowess, their house was a favourite destination: 21 pc of children said driving to see their grandparents was their favourite car journey.
The research was commissioned by the RAC to mark the unveiling of the breakdown expert’s latest TV advert, which depicts two young children fixing a toy car.
RAC chief marketing officer John Orriss says: “Having focused on children in our latest advert we wanted to find out a bit more about their experiences of motoring, and now we’ve established once-and-for-all who kids really want in the driver’s seat!
“We all have fond memories of family car journeys as children, and long drives are actually a great opportunity for families to spend time together” he says.
The research also shed light on why ‘are we nearly there yet?’ is the favoured refrain of generations of young passengers. When asked the length of Great Britain, more than one in five (22pc) answered a billion miles, while a further 24pc believed the UK to measure 27,000 miles, showing that the youngsters’ concept of distance leaves plenty to be desired.
Although not shy to give their views on their parents’ driving, the kids quizzed still had plenty to brush up on before taking their own driving tests. When tested on the meaning of common symbols on a car’s dashboard, answers given included ‘ninjas’, ‘aliens’ and ‘a rollercoaster’.
Funniest answers of car symbols given by five to seven year olds:
Airbag: ‘a rollercoaster’ ‘a snail’ ‘a pregnant lady’ (24pc of children correctly identified this symbol)
Petrol: ‘aliens’‘a gas mask’ ‘the car needs a drink’ (91pc of children correctly identified this symbol)
Seatbelt: ‘boomerang’ ‘a ninja’ ‘a magician’ (89pc of children correctly identified this symbol)
Temperature: ‘a boat’ ‘a lighthouse’ ‘a lollipop’ (28pc of children correctly identified this symbol)
*Research of 1059 5-7 year-olds across the UK conducted in October 2012 by Dubit, the leading independent youth research agency.
MOTORING – NEW RAC TV WINTER AD BREAKS THE MOULD
THE RAC’S WINTER TV commercial depicts two young children imitating a winter breakdown with their toy vehicles. The 30-second ad eschews the traditional ‘fear factor’ approach in favour of what the RAC say is “a warmer, more positive message aimed squarely at a family audience.”
The ad is the first produced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) since its appointment by the RAC in August, and is seen as a departure from the campaigns normally employed by the breakdown industry.
It centres on offering anyone that joins the RAC this winter free ‘At Home’ cover – which entitles them to assistance when their car encounters problems either at or within ¼ mile of their home. The offer is highlighted in the creative with a ‘young RAC patrolman’ helping to start his friend’s broken-down model car on a snowy driveway.
RAC chief marketing officer John Orriss says: “This campaign is a radical departure from the somewhat dull norm for our industry.
“As the motorist’s champion, we wanted to speak to both new and existing members in a far more positive way than the customary focus on the negative effects of a breakdown.
“We believe this softer, more friendly ‘peace of mind’ message will appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers, particularly families, during the busy weeks in the run-up to Christmas.”