Mums and dads are being reminded how important it is to set a good example to their children when they are driving
A new campaign has been launched which looks to urge parents to pass on good habits while they are in the car.
Prime Minister David Cameron has given his support to the Kids in the Car campaign, which is also backed by the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland.
Figures from a recent survey found that 43 per cent of drivers who were questioned admitted to shoutING, swearing or being impatient on the roads.
Psychologist Bill Carcary, who is a retired police traffic sergeant, said: “Children are automatically programmed to mimic the actions of people who are important to them.
“Unfortunately young developing children do not have the skills to distinguish between good or bad driving habits and will reflect this behaviour in later life.
“Parents will wrongly assume their children somehow remain unaffected by such behaviours as gesturing, shouting or simply speeding.
“To create better drivers for tomorrow we need to look at how we drive today.”
The survey of 1,002 adults also found 34 per cent of parents wanted their children to “be patient or take their time”.
Almost half admitted driving above the speed limit or being impatient on the road.
Child experts say that the aggressive or impatient driving of parents can rub off on youngsters, who may then go on later in life to mimic the behaviour when they become motorists themselves.
Scottish Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: “This campaign will help raise awareness amongst parents of their key role in shaping their children’s future road use, behaviours and attitudes.
“I urge everyone who carries young people in their vehicle to get behind its ultimate aim of reducing risky behaviours among our drivers of tomorrow.”
Earlier this year a survey by the charity Living Streets found that almost two-fifths of parents are put off letting their primary-age children walk to school by other parents’ driving.
Some 39 per cent of 1,000 parents of five- to 11-year olds in Great Britain said school-run traffic was dangerous.
42 per cent had witnessed aggression between adults on the school run.