Whose Driving Habits Are Better, Male or Female?

Females account for nearly 50% of the licensed drivers in the US. According to CDK Global, they also buy 65% of all new vehicles and influence as many as 85% of car purchasing decisions.

Yet, women continue to pay more for auto insurance than men in certain states in the US. In North Carolina, for instance, insurance providers charge female drivers $6 to $200 more, on average. This value exceeds $307 in Florida.

What is causing such discrimination? The answer almost always lies in the perceived differences in driving skills between the two genders. For generations, men have been typically considered better drivers. But is this perception or reality? Do men truly possess superior driving habits over their female counterparts? Let’s dig a little deeper to understand.

Men vs. Women: Whose Driving Habits Are Better?

Before answering this question, let’s bring in some context, starting with our ancestors.

For thousands of years, there has been a clear division in roles based on the strengths and weaknesses of each gender. Men became hunters, putting into good use their physical advantages, while women primarily focused on gathering food.

Even in modern society, this division of activities is evident, with men and women dominating certain areas to leverage specific aptitudes.

Driving is no different. Men have been long praised for their skills behind the wheel. They are more confident maneuvering vehicles, weighing up road situations, and making quick decisions. Women, on the other hand, are highlighted for challenges encountered in reversing, parallel parking, and the like.

But this stereotypical divide in various daily activities has little ground to stand when you look at data-backed evidence. Take the hunter-gatherer theory, for instance. It is now refuted by studies that confirm women hunted, too, using various tools and tactics.

Similarly, research into drivers provides a perspective different from what is generally held by society. Evidence suggests that men often drive faster due to their overconfident nature. They are also more likely to adopt bad habits at the wheel, including texting, answering calls, and smoking. Driving while feeling tired or sleepy and under the influence of alcohol is common, too.

Men are typically 1.4 times more likely to encounter accidents that are speed-related. And they receive a substantially higher number of speeding tickets. Male drivers also file more insurance claims than females.

Clearly, regardless of the general perception, evidence points to women being safer drivers with better driving habits.

Positive Habits for a Safe Driving Experience

Regardless of your gender or age, developing positive driving habits is necessary for everyone’s safety. Here’s what you should know. 

Follow road rules

Road regulations and guidelines are designed to protect not just the driver but also their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. So, anyone who gets behind the wheel has a responsibility to follow them.

For example:

  • Signal to warn others of your intention to turn or change lanes.
  • Adhere to speed limits so you have sufficient time to react to unforeseen obstacles without jeopardizing anyone’s safety.
  • Avoid tailgating to ensure you have a clear view of the road ahead and enough time and space to stop the vehicle if the driver in front of you brakes unexpectedly.

Avoid distractions

Divided attention is at the root of many road accidents. Answering calls, reading messages, and texting are some of the common practices that could put you and others at risk.

So, keep your phone aside while driving and never take your eyes off the road ahead. Avoid earphones so any warning sounds, from ambulance sirens to honing of vehicles, are audible. If you want to listen to music, use the vehicle’s speaker system at a moderate volume.

When you are driving with kids, ensure they don’t disturb or distract you. And if you ever feel sleepy, ask someone else to take the wheel or get enough rest before you drive.

Refrain from driving under the influence

Drunk driving is a serious offense and safety hazard. Alcohol can impair your ability to concentrate and make rapid decisions. So, if you plan to consume alcohol, having a designated driver is essential. Alternatively, take a cab.

Be respectful

This is another important habit for both female and male drivers to create a positive driving experience.

Be considerate and courteous towards other drivers, cyclists, as well as pedestrians. Avoid aggression and reckless behavior, especially when overtaking. And if someone else is overtaking you, slow down and give way. 

Remember, there is no competition. Everyone is on a journey to a different destination, and you are simply sharing the road with other drivers. If you feel frustrated, take a few deep breaths and keep your emotions in check. 

Plan your travels

When you take a moment to plan your journey, you can assess how long the drive will take, leave for your destination early, and drive at a reasonable speed. This allows you to avoid a last-minute rush and, more importantly, driving offenses such as speeding and running a red light.

You also get to plan for possible delays, adverse weather, and poor road conditions and get to your destination without frustration and stress.

Ensure your car is fit for the journey

For a safe driving experience, your car needs to be in top condition. Following your vehicle maintenance schedule with regular visits is important for this.

Always get your car checked by an experienced mechanic. You can find one on Leadar, but check reviews first on the Better Business Bureau website. And to tackle any emergencies on the road, keep a tool kit in your car.

Wrapping Up

The debate about who has better driving habits—men or women—has been going on for a long time. Of course, perception has always favored male drivers. But research tells a different story. According to data, women seem to have a better track record behind the wheel.

But regardless of your gender, adopting positive driving habits is critical for everyone’s safety. So, remember to be respectful to those around you, follow road rules and guidelines, avoid distractions, and never drive when you consume alcohol. Moreover, plan your journey in advance and maintain your vehicle to keep it in top condition.

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