Last October Lewis Hamilton once again flew the flag for Britain in the Formula One series, bringing home his 3rd world title and officially being named the best driver in the world. Some may say that this is more proof towards the belief that men are better drivers than women – however can this be true when there are notoriously few female racing drivers?
If we look at driving on a more general basis and not just on the racing track, we can see that there are still more male than female drivers on the road. Is this because they are better drivers? Many people believe that men are more confident on the road, however this is not always a good thing as this also means they are more likely to drive dangerously.
Whether we like it or not, nearly everyone has an opinion on male and/or female drivers – but how true are your beliefs? To find out, we decided to separate the men from women and ask the following questions:
Which gender is more likely to pass their driving test first time?
If you are anything like us, as soon as you turned 17 you and your school friends were falling over each other in the quest to become the first one to pass their driving test. However, figures from a 2014 government survey show that it’s more likely for boys than girls to pass their driving test first time, with 50.5% of boys passing straight away compared to 43.6% of girls. On the other hand, even though men are more likely to pass their driving tests first time, they are also more likely to incur their first collision earlier than women.
Who are more likely to be involved in accidents due to driving negligence?
So you’ve passed your test, bought your first car and are ready to hit the open road. However, once you’re there you may start to pick up some bad habits, especially if you are male. According to Traffic Accident Advice, 50% of men admitted to skipping a red light whilst only 14% of women said the same. Driving etiquette, although an innate feature, can also be monitored by gender. Women are more inclined than men to adhere to the Highway Code by not under-taking, indicating when necessary and giving way when appropriate, whereas men are often more aggressive in their approach to driving. In fact, 14% of men were found to have dangerously cut up traffic compared to 1% of women which inevitably leads to road rage incidents – not good for anyone!
Which gender are more likely to fall prey to bad/illegal habits?
According to a European research project named “Druid”, women and men are equally as culpable when it comes to getting behind the wheel whilst under the influence, with age groups setting genders apart. Women ranging from 35-49 and 50+ had a higher number of drink driving incidents, however men ranging from 25-35 were recorded as having a greater number of accidents relating to drink driving.
Furthermore, even though hands-free kits were introduced to combat illegal hand held phone usage, there are still those willing to take the risk of a police fine by making calls with one hand on the wheel and the other on their mobile. It appears that this is prevalent amongst both men and women, particularly teenage girls who have admitted mobile usage as playing a part in accidents and near misses.
Record of Speeding for a Man/Woman
Maybe it’s no surprise that 4 out of 5 of the leading roles in the Fast and Furious franchise were men and not women. Men, it seems, were born to speed, with government data showing that out of the 24,446,143 male driving licence holders, 6.65% or 1,625,211 were issued speeding tickets in 2014 alone. Conversely, only 721,156 women were fined for breaking the speed limit in the same time frame.
Average Number of Penalty Points Per Gender
With all this dangerous driving and bad habits occurring on the UK’s roads it’s not surprising that a large number of UK drivers have penalty points on their licences. However, Traffic Accident Survey indicate that whilst women are more inclined to accumulate points on their licence for minor infringements such as using their mobile phones behind the wheel, men are guilty of more serious misdemeanours including aggressive driving and driving while uninsured.
What about Pedestrians?
With women seemingly more concerned with safety while on the road, it may not come as a surprise that females walk more miles per year than men. Choosing to shun their cars, women walked an average of 187 miles last year, while men fell behind at just 175 miles – maybe they should brush up on their driving skills as well as their fitness!
Who are the better Drivers?
So the question stands, which sex are the better drivers? This is relevant to who you ask the question to. Ask Berne Ecclestone and he would say men, ask car insurers and they would answer women. Does better constitute as faster or safer? It would appear the latter, and therefore women. A hard fact to swallow but one we’ll have to live with… for now.