Firstborns are officially the worst drivers

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Firstborns might be able to boast about scientifically proven superior intelligence compared to younger siblings. However, the same boasting rights don't apply to driving ability, according to a new survey of motorists' habits behind the wheel.

Based on the responses of almost 1400 motorists in the UK eldest children are more likely to speed, receive fines for traffic offences and "annoy other drivers by cutting them off."

"Sibling rivalry is a famous family issue, in particular when arguing over who is the better driver," said Charlotte Fielding, head of Privilege DriveXpert, the company who commissioned the survey.

And she's not wrong.

Along with having a lead foot, the data revealed that eldest children are guilty of some other pretty bad habits too: 17 per cent admitted to putting on makeup while driving, while 30 per cent still use their phone at the wheel.

Birth order also had an impact on whether or not you run a red light. 81 percent of big brothers and sisters put their foot down to make it through an orange, while approximately 27 per cent just went straight on through that red. 

But while eldest kids can hang their heads in shame, only children take the crown for the safest driving, less likely to cut off other drivers or hog the middle or outside lanes.

Interestingly, when it comes to making excuses for bad behaviour behind the wheel, the reasons given also differ, depending on whether you're the eldest, youngest or somewhere in the middle. Both the baby of the family and middle children, tend to place the blame on other drivers "annoying them" while eldest children say they only break the rules if there's a good reason - like running late.

Unsurprisingly, all those bad habits also result in elder siblings being involved in more car accidents than their younger brothers and sisters. Firstborns had more major incidents (11 per cent) compared to middle (7 per cent) and youngest siblings (four per cent).

Last month, a survey conducted by the same organisation found that smarter people are more likely to fail their driving test first go. "This research demonstrates a link with academic and professional success and passing the driving test," Ms Fielding said at the time.