FENDER BENDER

Gender divide behind the wheel

Gender fender bender
Are women better drivers?

No gender-related discussion has been more heated than the one that rages behind the steering wheel. So who are better drivers: men or women?


In numerous studies done by analytics companies that validate policyholder information for auto insurers, women came out on top.
These studies analysed different kinds of traffic violations and then compared how many times men were cited versus women. The conclusion was that men break more traffic laws and drive more dangerously than women. Because they violate laws designed to make the roads safer, men cause more accidents and expensive damage.


Men had about 5 percent more violations that resulted in accidents than women. And because men are also more likely to violate laws for speeding, passing and yielding, the resulting accidents caused by men lead to more expensive claims than those caused by women.
Men are cited for reckless driving 3.41 more times than women. Reckless driving is considered one of the most serious traffic offenses by courts as this suggests a disrespect for the rights and safety of people or property.


Violations for which men scored at least 50 percent higher than women:


Reckless driving 


Seatbelt violations 


Speeding


Failure to yield


Stop sign violation


And It Gets Worse


According to the Insurance Institute more men than women die each year in motor car accidents. Men take more risks behind the wheel than women, resulting in more men getting into serious crashes. But from 1975 to 2003, female deaths in motor vehicle crashes increased 14 percent, compared with an 11 percent decline for male motorists during that same period. Insurance industry experts peg the rise in female deaths in vehicular crashes to more women obtaining driver's licenses than in the past and driving more miles than, say, 25 years ago.


And it seems as if female motorists are getting more aggressive. Men take more risks than women, but women are displaying more risky behaviour than ever before. Many auto insurance industry experts would agree with the theory that men, especially young men, tend to drive more aggressively than women and display their aggression in a direct manner, rather than indirectly.

Furthermore, as a rule of thumb, male drivers are more likely than women to break the law, and the male of the species tends to be more of a risk-taker. But it is hard to say women are better drivers because they are statistically safer. Women tend to be minor fender-benders. Men do the job properly when they crash, and as a result cost their insurance companies a lot more money.

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