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The survey by the AA found that almost half of drivers would leave space in front of cars containing elderly drivers and would avoid tailgating them.
The figures suggest that elderly drivers would be treated better on the roads if other motorists were aware of their age.
It has been suggested that signs which draw attention to an elderly driver might have a similar effect to the ‘baby on board’ stickers which some parents display in their cars.
Paul Green, of Saga insurance, said: “Anything that tries to encourage politeness on British roads should be welcomed. Driving bumper to bumper is a completely anti-social activity whether driving at 80 or 18.
“It is great that drivers want to show older people more courtesy on the roads, but it is quite alarming to think that people think it is perfectly OK to harass younger drivers.”
The survey of 17,629 AA members found that 47 per cent of motorists tried to give older drivers a wider berth. Researchers also discovered that the results differed very little between age groups, suggesting that younger drivers were just as considerate of other driver’s ages as older ones.
The survey also found that 22 per cent of drivers were more likely to give way to a classic car, with one in five saying they would be less likely to give space to a 4×4 or luxury car. Drivers in London were found to have the least patience with other drivers.
The survey also revealed that motorists aged 18 to 24 were the least tolerant of learner drivers with 31 per cent admitting to losing their cool, compared with just 15 per cent of the over-65s.
Edmund King, the president of the AA, said: “We’ve got a careless driving fixed penalty offence now, that was introduced last year, and technically you should be able to get a fine and penalty points for tailgating.
“Tailgating is one of the biggest dangers on the motorway — in many ways more dangerous than speeding. In all our surveys, along with the middle-lane-hog the tailgater comes out as one of the top pet hates.”