Study: Women better drivers than men

| November 8, 2012

Oh, I can’t wait to show this to my husband and male friends and colleagues. (It’s a given. I have to have a little fun with this study once I saw it. Family, friends and colleagues who have driven with me will be chuckling right now.)

A new survey reveals that women are better drivers (at least in the U.K., but I’ll take it!) in terms of knowledge of the highway-code, number of penalty points and speed awareness

The survey from the car hire comparison site, Carrentals UK, found that women drivers perform better on the roads compared to men, highlighted by the fact they have been in fewer accidents and carry less penalty points on their driver’s license, according to the survey results.

  • 57 percent of men had been involved in one or more accidents, compared to 44 percent of women
  • 45 percent of 36 to 45 year-old and 66+ male drivers had been caught speeding
  • 60 percent of men over 66 had been involved in an accident, compared with 30 percent of women in the same age group
  • Nearly one in three of all respondents incorrectly identified the “no-stopping” sign.

The study involved more than 700 people over the age of 18 across the U.K. and asked respondents to identify common road signs and answer questions about their driving experience and ability. Results showed that men typically have more points on their license, have been caught speeding more often and have been involved in more accidents across all age groups, according to the survey results.

Also according to the findings, 57 percent of male drivers questioned had had one or more accidents compared to 44 percent of female drivers. Moreover, nearly double the number of men had both points on their driver’s license and had been caught speeding compared to the number of women.

“While men would like to believe they are better than women behind the steering wheel, it is clear to see that male drivers performed worse in terms of speeding fines and penalty points,” Gareth Robinson, managing director of Carrentals.co.uk, said in a written statement announcing the survey results. “Despite this, men consistently rated their driving skills higher than women when asked. It seems that, while men performed poorly on the questionnaire and typically had a worse track record on the roads, they believed that they were good drivers.”

While women came out on top in terms of number of points and speeding, according to the survey, results revealed that both men and women performed poorly when identifying a number of common road signs. According to the findings, the “No Stopping” sign was the most incorrectly identified sign on the survey, with nearly one in three people answering incorrectly. A significant amount of participants who got the road signs wrong actually cited activities that are consistently illegal on the roads such as no racing, no undertaking, no speeding, no braking and end of speed limit.

The survey also showed that driving ability does not necessarily improve with age. According to the findings, over a third of those over the age of 66 had points on their license, with 30 percent unable to identify the national speed limit sign despite everyone in this age group holding a license for 20 years or more.

Added Robinson: “It has become too easy to blame the younger generation of drivers for the rise in car-related costs, when it is clear that they are not alone when it comes to driving irresponsibly on the roads. It would seem that older drivers are just as likely to be caught speeding or be involved in an accident.”

Women also appeared to be the better drivers in the over 66 years of age category, with just 30 percent having been involved in an accident compared to 60 percent of men the same age, according to the survey results. Men in this age group also scored significantly lower on the correct road signs and almost half had been caught speeding compared to just 15 percent of women. Despite this, none of the participants in this category rated their driving as poor, according to the survey results.

 

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