Survey: How do people drive in Germany – and what do drivers do secretly behind the wheel?

28. Aug 2021 | Industry + More

Around 48 million cars are currently registered in Germany. The average age is 9.8 years. Statistics like these are available from the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA). But other figures are actually much more interesting. How drivers behave on the road, for example. A representative survey from provides exciting figures.

Everyone will be familiar with this: Sometimes you are surprised by what your fellow road users get up to. One person may be swearing so badly that the neck veins start to swell. Or another may be picking their nose, leading you to wonder if they've forgotten that the windows are see-through. An ignorance of reality, which is almost impressive - and not all that rare. A survey from April 2021 provides interesting insights into the behaviour of German drivers behind the wheel.

How relaxed are drivers really?

It is not surprising that the majority (80.1 percent) of drivers listen to music, radio or podcasts. More interesting is their own assessment of their relaxation level when driving. Most people think that they are quite relaxed. 86.3 percent of respondents describe themselves as mainly relaxed or even completely relaxed. This is surprising when you take a look at what happens on Germany's roads every day. A 5-minute look at any zip fastening situation is enough to prove that we Germans often aren't relaxed at all, isn't it?

And another question shows that the reality regarding relaxation behind the wheel isn't that much different. Almost exactly 57 percent of respondents admit to getting angry from time to time "due to provocation by other road users". In these cases, things can get nasty. In situations like these, drivers can suddenly start swearing enough to make most people blush. We've all experienced it, haven't we? The interesting thing: Women come top in the swearing statistics! More than one in five female drivers (21.3 percent) admits to swearing frequently, while only 16.4 percent of men swear at others behind the wheel.

Nose picking, flatulating, parking

Maybe drivers should try other activities. For example, singing along to music on the radio. Over one third of drivers say that they sing along enthusiastically. Around 21 percent eat and drink regularly behind the wheel. And 13.6 percent talk to themselves. All of these activities could help drivers relax. Almost 15 percent of respondents admit to "flatulating" at the wheel or to picking their nose on a regular basis. So now we know.

Finally, let's take a look at a gender-specific classic: Parking - the subject of many passionate discussions. The survey may not shed any light on the question of who is better at parking, but with regard to the question of which gender assesses their own abilities more realistically, the survey is very informative. 86.5 per cent of men believe themselves to be talented at parking. On the other hand, almost a quarter of women (23.5 percent) question their own abilities. So it's clear in this case that the point goes to the women.