The survey found that parents forget about their role model status once they’re on the road.
More than half of the 500 children surveyed said that their parents shout at other motorists, and a whopping 75 percent said their parents “complained loudly about other drivers.”
As many as 31 percent of the children, who were aged between four and 16, also testified that their parents criticized each other’s driving techniques while behind the wheel.
More worryingly, 20 percent of children said their parents make phone calls while driving, and 45 percent felt their parents “are not concentrating.”
But in an apparent attempt to defend their parents’ reputations, 98 percent of children said they liked their parents’ driving style, while 94 percent said they felt safe.
The survey results also backed gender clichés about driving. As many as 73 percent said that their dads drove faster than their mums, and 38 percent said their fathers were more aggressive drivers than their mothers, while only 12 percent said they had more aggressive mums.
Even more damning, when asked, “who would be more likely to drive the car into a wall or a kerb,” 43 percent of children said their mothers, and 19 percent said their fathers. There were similar figures when it came to getting lost – according to the kids, mums were twice as likely to lose their way than their fathers.
The survey was carried out for car firm Continental by pollster One Poll.
Traffic jam warnings
Children may get plenty of time to observe their parents’ driving habits over the Easter weekend, as German motorists’ association ADAC warned of impending traffic jams on many stretches of motorway across the country.
The ADAC said that Thursday afternoon was likely to see the most traffic jams, particularly in the areas around big cities, especially Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.
The ADAC’s list of jam hotspots include:
A1 between Hamburg and Cologne
A2 between Hannover and Dortmund
A3 between Frankfurt and Nuremberg
A61 between Mönchengladbach and Ludwigshafen
The Auto Club Europa (ACE) has also advised travellers to try and re-fuel on the other side of national borders, due to the high price of petrol and diesel in Germany at the moment.