One of the longest running debates in the driving world is whether women are safer than men behind the wheel. For decades women have been receiving much cheaper insurance quotes than men and there has been a pretty big divide between the sexes - although in the UK insurance rules have recently changed so that women cannot be charged less than men based on gender alone.
The question is, is either sex really safer on the roads? As you will see, the results are contradictory around the world.
To gain a snapshot of some of the commonly held ideas about women’s driving, this column in the Telegraph is a real eye-opener. Penned by a female columnist, it details some real gripes that she has formed, such as driving slowly in the outside lane of a motorway or with foglights in broad daylight. Perhaps more pertinently there is some real balance in the comments at the bottom, including an Observer with the Institute of Advanced Motorists who insisted that the best driver he had ever seen was a young female.
Women are the safer
drivers according to public opinion
On the Debate.org website, according to a poll, 64% of respondents feel that women are safer drivers. However, public opinion is very much influenced by what you see in the media. It has long been reported that women statistically have less accidents than men. However, does that automatically mean they are better drivers? Logically you would answer yes straight away to that question. But there are other factors to consider when weighing up your response.
cause fewer accidents in the UK
It isn’t a secret that women are known to cause fewer accidents. As reported by the Independent, it is young males who are typically most at risk of driving recklessly. Perhaps women tend to follow traffic rules and guidelines with more discipline than males – no matter what, it has also been found that men are most likely to be repeat offenders.
So men cause more accidents, but are there differing circumstances that suggest it is not down to ability, but more about expectation and differences in status? Do men drive more miles than women? Do they drive more powerful cars? Is there a more ‘macho’ image that men feel they need to live up to?
Men are better at
parking – aren’t they?
A popular belief held by many is that men are better at parking than women, and at least according to an AA survey there may be some merit to the belief. The survey found here, reports that 25% of women lacked the confidence to parallel park, compared to 11% of men. Fewer than 30% have even admitted to actually changing their route to avoid the manoeuvre.
But the same AA survey found that 11% of men also struggle for confidence, and 14% have changed their plans at the last moment. It suggests that even with a snazzy, top of the range car like the ones found here, both sexes sometimes struggle with parking.
Whatever the overall truth, the debate regarding the differences between men and women drivers is likely set to continue for many years. No matter what your gender, safe-driving practices should always be followed.
This article was written by freelance writer Sophie Davidson. Sophie is passionate about providing engaging content and has featured in a number of online publications.