Thursday, February 23, 2012

Illusory superiority

I was curious what proportion of road accidents were caused by driver error rather than, say, brake failure. Although I suspected the proportion would be high I was surprised it was as high as 93%. In fact the majority of accidents are solely due to driver error.

What is alarming is that numerous surveys have revealed that whilst, in reality we are all only human (and get distracted, make mistakes and fall asleep), most of us believe we are brilliant drivers.

In the United States for example, when asked to compare their driving safety and skill to other people 93% of people put themselves in the top 50%. This is apparently known as 'Illusory Superiority'.

I wonder how long it will be before someone tries to use Toxoplasmosis infection as a defense against a charge or reckless driving or something similar. It's really not that different to the Twinkie defence.

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