December 14th, 2006
Time and time again, women are insulted and judged by the men for being inferior drivers. But is this really true? Are men really better?
Mark Ong, a Real Estate Agent simply loathes female drivers. “They’re so slow, their judgment is bad and they can’t park for nuts!” Haven’t we heard that before? Better still, haven’t we seen that before? As a male driver, I have encountered numerous women who road hog, fail to signal their intentions and make 70-point turns to get into a parking lot. I also have my own qualms about sitting in a car piloted by a female. I say piloted because I’m usually looking for the ‘Ejector Seat’ lever. Those who have some skill, drive so recklessly, they are almost no better than their road-hogging 70-point-turn sisters.
Sherlynn Lee, a banker who drives a Volkswagen Golf disagrees. “I know of many skilled women drivers. I even know of some who race and drive their souped-up cars on the track!” She adds that she has never once scratched or dinged her car for the past 2 years of owning it.
Writer Carol Chia figures that women are slower because they are more cautious. “Do you realize most accidents are caused by men?” “Men tend to be over-confident and think they can do wonders in their machines. But when you see an accident on the road, it’s usually a man behind the wheel.”
Gulp. Can she be right? I looked up some sources and found out that in the US, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Report, male drivers were involved in 27,000 more fatal accidents, 432,000 more injury crashes and 1,369,000 more property-damaged incidents than female drivers - which inevitably equated to 1,828,000 more insurance claims in a single a year. Men have more accidents and make more claims. And it’s not just male drivers between the ages of 18-24 that are making these insurance claims - it’s men of all ages.
“By nature, men are generally more aggressive and tend to engage in riskier driving practices, such as not wearing their seat belt, speeding and driving under the influence,” says Ohio insurance agent, Brad Vermillion. “Men also typically drive more miles than women do over the course of their lifetime, which increases their risk of being involved in an accident.”
However, things may be changing. The gap between the male and female driver is starting to narrow. “Over the past couple of years we have seen an increase in females driving more often and for longer periods of time. This is mainly because women are faced with juggling a full-time job, taking their children to and from extracurricular activities, caring for aging parents and running errands for their family,” commented Dave Roush, CEO of ComparisonMarket. “All of these activities increase their time in the car and elevate their stress levels - which can carry into aggressive behavior on the road.”
I guess only time will tell how this new trend will affect the statistics, but for now, we men are still in the lead. So I think we guys ought to think twice before we pass our next judgement on that sweet old lady behind the wheel.