It’s official - we are the worst drivers in Great Britain

10:14 06 August 2014

Are drivers in this region the worst in the country? Picture: PA.

Are drivers in this region the worst in the country? Picture: PA.


It is not a title that we can be proud of, but drivers in our region have been identified as the worst in the country.

Could technology have the answer?

The government announced last week that driverless cars would be allowed on public roads from January next year.

UK cities have been invited to compete to host one of three trials of the technology and have until the start of October to register an interest.

Trials have already been carried out in other countries, with the US states of California, Nevada and Florida all approving tests of the vehicles.

And last year, the first public road test of a driverless car was carried out in Japan by Nissan.

Driver’s annoying habits graphic

A study carried out by Norwich-based insurance company Aviva revealed people from our area were the least safe behind the wheel. It calculated that our motorists were 10% “less safe” than those in Greater London.

Drivers from the capital came top of the list – in what may come as a surprise to many from our region who have ever driven there.

Twitter’s response

We asked readers on Twitter what they thought the worst driving habits were:


Last week I was behind a car that went 40mph everywhere. Through a 30 and 60. Mental.


Pushy drivers, front fog lights on in clear weather, poor observation.


People driving expensive German saloons, who are totally blind to motorcyclists.


Been driving here since I got my licence in 2002. The thing I notice most now is people not indicating!


The too high speed at which too many drivers travel along narrow country lanes with poor sight lines. Taking bends too quickly with no thought of possible oncoming traffic.

The study used an app and smartphone technology to monitor motorists’ driving styles. Researchers analysed more than four million miles of driving, by almost 20,000 motorists.

A spokesman for Aviva said the app was able to give individuals scores out of ten for their driving, but he could not specify which bad habits in particular made drivers in the east of England perform badly.

However, one factor given by the company for our region’s place at the foot of the table was the nature of our largely rural, winding roads. One local motorist who carries out his own research into bad driving is Tony Sutton, from Wymondham. Mr Sutton has fitted a camera to his dashboard and logs incidents of poor motoring on his website He said he did not feel our motorists were really worse than those from elsewhere in the UK, but said he often encountered bad driving, singling out young and old motorists as those most responsible.

“I have driven in France and they were better than drivers in the UK. If I was narrowing down driving offences, the most common is jumping red lights.”

At the roundabout

Following the results of the survey, Becky Murphy spent 10 minutes observing driving behaviour at St Stephens roundabout in Norwich. This is what she saw:

■ Did not indicate: 15 drivers.

■ In the wrong lane: 5 drivers.

■ Pulling out in front of another driver: 3 drivers.

■ Making late lane changes: 2 drivers.

Here’s what some of you had to say:

• Elaine Purcell, 48, a science technician from Norwich said: “There are bad drivers around here. As a cyclist I bike a few miles a day and I am always cut up on roundabouts. Drivers just don’t seem to see cyclists.”

• Tom Coleman, 23, a PhD student from Suffolk living in Norwich, said: “I’m very surprised that East Anglia has the worst drivers in the country. But I suppose somewhere has to have the worst. I don’t see our region as being bad at driving though.”

• Derek Beakdon, retired, from Lowestoft said: “I wouldn’t say drivers in this region are any worse then those around the country. I would have thought the worst would have been in London.”

• Kirsty, a 21-year-old student from Norwich said: “I can’t really see why we’d have worse drivers than anywhere else. But I have seen someone go the wrong way round a roundabout in Colchester.”

But what do you think? Are drivers in East Anglia really the worst in the country? Or have you had worse experiences elsewhere?

Email reporter Catherine Morris-Gretton at


  • Aviva would have registration numbers and place of residence on their systems. It wouldn't take long to run a report on their clients claims activities for a particular region. They would just need to sort the data.

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    Andy T

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

  • Daisy, everything you state is spot on. Having learnt to drive in Greater Manchester, and having spent many years also away in Cornwall I can agree that holiday makers are convinced that nothing bad can happen to them, and go crazy at the sight of an uncongested piece of tarmac. Bad driving in Norfolk is not always carried out by local drivers. The wording of the original article was just a headline grabber, a rather outdated technique used by a poor quality of journalism.

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    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Couldn't it be a combination of things@ Lots of newcomers unfamiliar with our narrow windy country lanes, High number of left hand drive cars (Americans and EU migrants) driven by people who haven't learned to drive over here and then plain bad driving don't we all have off days?

    Report this comment

    caroline jacobs

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Well Capac, unless Aviva is using these images to record registration numbers and then cross referencing them with DVLC details of ownership ( a bit of an abuse of an insurers access wouldn't you say?) then there is no way of knowing if the drivers caught on camera are Norfolk drivers or not. At this time of year there is a a high percentage-especially in Great Yarmouth and North Norfolk , and on the routes to those destinations- of non Norfolk tourist drivers. Bad driving in Norfolk is not the same, by anyone's logic, as Norfolk drivers being the worst in the country. Frankly the standard of driving in GY when the grockles are about is appalling.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Long standing suspicions confirmed. You're lovely people but not really cut out for motoring.

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    Capac Raimi

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Obviously Aviva's actuaries have never driven in other parts of the country or they would have placed less faith in their spurious data.

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    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Speed limits are just that, they are not compulsory. You should drive at a speed which is safe for the road conditions. Re Roundabouts. I was going round the Tescos roundabout on Blue Boar lane coming from Blue Boar Lane and was on the outer side heading towards Wroxham Rd when a car came up the inside next to the roundabout and hooted at the car also on the inside and heading towards Tescos. This really annoys me when cars push through on the inside lane of a roundabout instead of showing a bit of patience and courtesy. I Lived and Drove in London since 1971 and I think that there are more inconsiderate drivers there than in NorwichNorfolk. In all my years of driving I've only been involved in 2 minor accidents neither of which were my fault so I think I'm a good driver.

    Report this comment

    John Redfern

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Anyone worked out that Aviva might use this to hain our premiums using poor driving in the region as an excuse-all those who have been using this to get at Norfolk people or the elderly might like to reflect on that.

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • One would suspect that the data refers to mostly young drivers-would they not be the most likely to use smart phone apps to relay their driving to Aviva in order to get a reduced premium or just for the stupidity of it? And if this refers to the driving habits of those being spied on by those insured by Aviva, how do we all feel about the commercial big brother spying on us as we pick our noses at the traffic lights? A traffic cop friend told me that smart alec in car camera users should beware in case they end up the biter bit in the event of an accident.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • yup you keep it up you weaselly immature reporters at the EDP ready to deride mock and run down Norfolk and Norfolk people at the least provocation. A good reporter would have examined the veracity of the data, the way in which the data was collected, how and if it was representative of all drivers in Norfolk and the legitimacy of the conclusions drawn not splashed random statements across the local paper and internet. They would have compared accident figures with vehicle numbers in the region etc. Instead of which they ran with a story of statistics based on smart phone app users who are also Aviva customers-which is a pretty crummy way to make the assertion. You should be ashamed

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    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • why is the bloke in the picture driving a left hand drive vehicle??? bit of a none story really we all see the bad driving every day.

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    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • "singling out young and old motorists as those most responsible." so Everyone then ;o) The rest of the country have these magic reflective seeing glasses on both sides of the car which shows the driver whats behind and these blinking orange lights that tells other drivers which direction they are going to go in, they should put these on our cars round here.

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    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • .....So What Happened !...Where is the original story on this subject?....Too many comments ?....Archant! ...Whoever sorts this web site out needs further training!.....

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    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

  • Here we go again - 'blame the old motorist!', mind it's taken them long enough to find this out! Many of us could have told you this years ago!! When we go out by car now - we have a new game we play - its called 'spot the d------d!' (cleaned up for the adjudicators benefit, as most of my comments don't get through)

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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