Finger Pointing: Older Drivers vs Younger Drivers

Volvo driver
Credit: Volvo
Thereís a lot of finger pointing going on these days over who is a safer driver: Gen Zs or Baby Boomers. If you ask both groups, you can guess what the answer will be. In a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo Cars, Boomers (drivers 45 and up) and Gen Zís (18-24) name the other as the most significant safety threat on the road today.

The findings are part of a wide-ranging survey of Americans across a broad range of generations that explores the ever-changing relationship between Americans and their cars.

Volvo not only wanted to learn more about how different generations feel about the other, but also what they thought about driverís education programs and whether theyíre doing the job.

Hereís what they found:

  • Two-thirds (66%) of Americans of all ages believe teens are the most dangerous drivers on the road today, but younger, newer drivers disagree.
  • Gen Zs claim senior citizens are the biggest safety threats (58%).
  • While 85% of older drivers stand by driverís education as a reason for being a confident driver, Gen Zs are less likely to do so (74%).
  • Even as the most recent generation to take driverís education, 1 in 4 Gen Zs (24%) are not confident they would pass the driverís test if they had to retake it today.
  • Long-term retention is also an issue, as more than half (55%) of Gen Zs say they remember half or less of what they learned in driverís education.
    • The oldest drivers surveyed, Boomers, say they remember most or everything they learned (56%).

This report, Volvo Reports: The State of Driver Education, is the latest in a series of Volvo Reports from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll designed to uncover insights into the American opinion across four core themes: design, safety, technology and environment.


This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo from May 21-29, 2019, among 2,000 licensed adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
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