Who Are Better Drivers: Men or Women?
MSN sheds some light on which sex is the better motorist — one of the most hotly debated arguments since 'Which came first, the chicken or the egg?'
Famed composer Irving Berlin captured the battle between the sexes quite succinctly in his legendary song "I Can Do Anything Better Than You" from the 1946 Broadway musical "Annie Get Your Gun." Gunslingers Annie Oakley (Ethel Merman) and Frank Butler (Ray Middleton) lyrically debated who could shoot more accurately: she or he? But what they were really fighting about was which sex is the more capable: man or woman? That same argument has been waged many times, about many topics over the years. But no gender-related discussion has been more heated than the one that rages behind the wheel. So who are better drivers: men or women?
The Answer Is ...
In a study released by Quality Planning, an analytics company that validates policyholder information for auto insurers, women came out on top.
The study analyzed different kinds of vehicle code violations (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.
"We were not surprised to see that men have slightly more violations — about 5 percent — that result in accidents than women," said Raj Bhat, president of Quality Planning. "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."
Topping the list is the finding that 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 since it implies a disregard for the rights and safety of people or property.
Violations for which men scored at least 50 percent higher than women:
|TYPE OF VIOLATION||RATIO M:F|
|Failure to yield||1.54|
|Stop sign/signal violation||1.53|
Evidence Gets Worse
Guys, when it rains it pours. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more men than women die each year in motor vehicle crashes. "Men take more risks behind the wheel than women, and so men are more likely to get into serious crashes," says Anne McCartt, the institute's senior vice president of research. "We don't have any way of comparing their driving abilities, but on the likelihood of getting into a serious crash in which someone dies, men win handily."
|16-19||Crash Involvements: 4,257|
|Crash Involvements: 1,852|
|Crash Involvements: 6,109|
|20-29||Crash Involvements: 8,949|
|Crash Involvements: 3,172|
|Crash Involvements: 12,122|
|30-59||Crash Involvements: 15,027|
|Crash Involvements: 6,946|
|Crash Involvements: 21,973|
|60-69||Crash Involvements: 2,097|
|Crash Involvements: 1,008|
|Crash Involvements: 3,105|
|70-Plus||Crash Involvements: 3,148|
|Crash Involvements: 1,571|
|Crash Involvements: 4,719|
|Total*||Crash Involvements: 33,733|
|Crash Involvements: 14,633|
|Crash Involvements: 48,638|
*Total includes other and/or unknowns
On the Flip Side
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also reported that 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.
Plus, it seems as if female motorists are getting more aggressive. "It's true that men do take more risks than women," says Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. "However, [women] are partaking in more risky behaviors than ever before. The gap is closing quickly."
So Are Women Better Drivers Than Men?
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.
Even so, it's hard to say women are better drivers, although they are statistically safer. Women have just as many accidents as men; however, they tend to be minor fender-benders. Men, on the other hand, tend to do the job properly when they crash, and as a result cost their insurance companies a lot more money.
So, even though it's a blow to our male egos, we'll have to give this round to women. Sorry fellas.
For nearly two decades, New York-based writer and editor Chuck Tannert has covered everything from automobiles to gadgets to travel. Before joining the MSN Autos team, Tannert served as senior automotive editor at Popular Mechanics, and his work has appeared in many outlets, including Cargo, Men's Journal, Penthouse, Popular Science, and Wired.
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Analysis by "who gets the most tickets" is flawed, as is analysis by "who has the most accidents" unless you also analyze by "who drives the most miles". The number of drivers for each gender is very close, so you can essentially eliminate that as a factor, but it's generally acknowledged that men drive much more often than women, or drive more distance. Therefore, exposure to tickets, or accidents is much higher for men then women. When this is studied, it is found that, mile for mile, women have just slightly more accidents, but men are MUCH more likely to be involved in fatal accidents. My grossly simplistic look at men vs women is that men are much more likely to be aggresive, where women seem to be less aware of their surroundings.
If I want to win a race I'd probably let a man drive. If I want to get safely from a to b I would drive.
Men and women have very DIFFERENT and COMPLIMENTARY brains. Until people see that the differences are BOTH of VALUE and that competing is a futile waste of what SHOULD be a respectful PARTNERship instead of a struggle for dominance - war will continue. The battle of the sexes is just that.
Caps are not shouting here. They say the message quickly for speed readers.
We are different and both have value in different situations and science has proven this very clearly in many areas and continues to do so and none more so than in the differences in the evolution of the brain, which explains why we are so different and what we are good at and how we compliment each other.
The question is - will men\women accept differences as having value or continue to try to dominate. Reading the comments sections here provides the answer I think as it does on all comment sections in articles about gender differences.like this. Men insist they are better at almost everything when science has proven over and over that they are not. They are different, not better.
The reason that's a problem is because when men dominate instead of partner with women, the negative side of men affects everyone, including themselves.
Driving is a good analogy for the state of the world. For instance, if no women drive, the ratio of fatal accidents would sky rocket and far more people, men AND women would die.
so that's what I think, just saying.
This article is so ridiculous in so many ways. It made luagh when I read the article and it said women are better drivers. HA!
Has anyone noticed that two of the three references are female! I smell a little sexist woman in the air, not wanting to admit they are bad.
Also has anyone seen; the soccer moms, grandma's,high school girls, family road trip with the wife, and school teachers driving down the roads?
If you want the real truth, I will video tape leaving school everyday and then going to work. I assure you that 95% of these speeders that cut people off, drive to slow, text and drive, put on make up, merge with no blinker, merge in to a lane like they are in a demolition derby are females. ( In NC where I live)
If you want the truth I will video tape all of it even the guys to make it more pausible. If you want it tell me I send it to you.