NEW YORK — If you’re looking to impress a potential partner, you might want to reconsider your driving habits.
While stereotypes imply that having a high-end vehicle makes you more impressive in the dating scene, another factor might actually be worth greater consideration. More than half of American drivers (56%) would not date someone who they consider to be an unsafe driver. Moreover, nearly a fifth of Americans (18%) say they’ve ended things with a partner due to their driving habits.
The survey of 2,000 drivers reveals 78 percent of respondents agree that the way a person drives says a lot about their personality. Also, three out of four believe that the way a person takes care of their car also says a lot about what that driver is really like.
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Christian Brothers Automotive, the study also examines the specific personality factors people connect to certain types of driving and vehicle care habits. Nearly half the poll (46%) feel that drivers who follow the rules of the road are more trustworthy. Respondents also view drivers who take care of their cars as responsible (52%) and more reliable (43%).
Nothing cool about dangerous driving
On the other side of the driving habit spectrum, three out of four respondents characterize drivers who don’t wear seat belts as “reckless.” Over four in 10 (42%) call drivers who tend to speed dangerous and 24 percent consider them impulsive.
“We all recognize the major deterrents to driving safely and how those behaviors affect personal relationships,” says Donnie Carr, president of Christian Brothers Automotive, in a statement. “What we found interesting, however, is how people’s car care habits and less egregious behaviors also impact loved ones.”
When it comes to their own driving preferences, 41 percent of motorists say they prefer driving fast, even if it means breaking the speed limit. One in three respondents add they believe the speed limit is “just a suggestion.”
Sixty-one percent of respondents, however, claim that if a driver is excessively speeding, they would never get in the car with them again. More than a third (36%) have refused to ride with a friend due to their poor driving habits.
Moreover, 71 percent agreed that they would refuse to be driven by a friend or family member who displayed poor auto care habits — such as having their check engine light on for an extended period of time without having the car checked.