"Women Are Bad Drivers": Busting The Myth
Women have scaled Everest. Women have become CEOs of multinational conglomerates. Women have held the largest offices in the judicial and legislative wings of countries.
But supposedly, women can't perform the very basic task of driving a car. This notion that women are bad drivers and men are safer drivers than women has been popular for a while, and every mistake made on the road by a woman driver is scrutinized under the lens of gender-based driving skills (or lack thereof). But how much water does this conversation actually hold? Is there any basis to this strangely specific notion or is it another facet of the unnatural scrutiny women are held to? We try to find out.
Women drivers are more cautious:
Women drivers have been known to exceed speed limits 12% less often than their male counterparts. This objectively translates into safer city driving, though this lack of speed may sometimes be perceived as a lack of skill by more aggressive drivers. Perhaps this is the root of the myth.
Women cause fewer accidents:
Men driving cars and vans have twice the rate of fatal accidents per Kilometre compared to women driving, according to a study conducted by British researchers.
Women driving cars, then, seem to have an advantage over men when it comes to safety, unlike the notion goes. However, a further study has shown what should be clear from the start- that men and women are usually similarly safe on the road, and have varying degrees of objective advantages and disadvantages over each other.
Men scored better in checking blind spots, control of the vehicle, and cutting corners when turning, while women fared better in stopping at orange lights, having road appropriate speeds, adequate use of mirrors, and driving at the perfect distance from other vehicles.
The thought that women or men are better at driving than the other may be inspired by biases and may have root in basic biological behavior patterns, but the bottom line is clear that women are not dangerous drivers- they may at times be statistically so safe that they may appear slightly irritating to other drivers. But the skill set of driving depends less on your biological composition and more on the driver's experience and interest and that has nothing to do with gender.