Dad’s the word as young children choose best driver

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Perceived prejudice against women drivers seems to kick in from an early age, according to a survey.

Most five to seven-year-olds reckon dad is a better driver than mum and also think their father is better at parking than their mother.

But youngsters clearly have more fun in the car with their mothers than with their fathers, the survey from the RAC showed. Nearly twice as many of the 1,000 five to seven-year-olds surveyed thought mum was a better car companion than dad.

According to the children, parents’ bad taste in music was a main bugbear while in the car, with some youngsters also put off by mothers’ and fathers’ out-of-tune singing.

Other pet hates for the youngsters included their parents shouting at other drivers, with mothers more likely to use bad language in front of their offspring than fathers.

The children were shown some car symbols with nearly all of them correctly identifying the petrol-filling sign, although some though it represented aliens and others thought it showed a gas mask.

Only 24 per cent of the youngsters correctly identified the airbag sign, with some reckoning it was a rollercoaster or a snail or “a pregnant lady”.

Just 28 per cent recognised the temperature sign, with some believing it showed a boat, a lighthouse and even a lollipop.

Nearly all got the seatbelt sign right, although answers received included a boomerang and a magician. The opportunity to eat plenty of sweets was selected as the best thing about a trip in the car while playing games with their family and visiting service stations also proved popular choices for the children.

The RAC’s chief marketing officer, John Orriss, said: “Now we’ve established once and for all who kids really want in the driver’s seat.”