By Omar C.
Are women better drivers than men? This question has been asked ever since a woman first drove a car, apparently, now we have an answer.
Recently, an insurance company named Admiral has made a study, analyzing data from their customers’ driving.
Are women better drivers than men? Statistically speaking, the facts point towards an affirmative answer.
Admiral Insurance stated:
“Men have an annual average mileage of 7004 – 564 miles than the women’s average of 6440”
“On average, men spend more time driving than women and funnily enough they spend a higher percentage of that time speeding. And with men being in the car more often, they also face driving at riskier times and in bad weather.”
Fathers and family men are also slightly better at driving than younger single men.
So, are women better drivers than men?
Well, this question is a lot more complicated than it seems at first, social stereotypes classify driving as a masculine activity, and tend to focus on the handling skills rather than the safety side of it.
On the other hand, the typical female gender role focuses on being nurturing, caring, and looking after the well being of others.
This gross oversimplification is not fully accurate, but it paints a much needed picture, and helps put concepts into perspective.
So, the difference in driving safety is caused by cultural conventions regarding gender roles, with male drivers being focused on skilful wielding of the car, while female drivers not focusing on technique but on road regulations and safety.
As my grandfather used to say: Driving is not just moving a car around
With that in mind, how about we take gender stereotypes out of driving, and instead of making this a vain competition of man versus woman, let’s ask ourselves, why are women better drivers than men?
Well, aggression and competitiveness are almost never a part of a woman’s upbringing, with no social expectations to assert dominance or authority; women are also generally not expected to show interest in the technical side of cars or driving. This sometimes leads to the oblivious female driver stereotype, but it also lacks all of the unhealthy “masculine” driving habits.
In contrast, masculinity is often represented by assertiveness and sometimes aggression. Thus, men tend to see things as a competition, and try to prove or test their skills, resulting in speeding, and other dangerous behavior. However, this means men will often focus more on honing their driving skill.
This stereotype duality needs to be disrupted.
The scariest part about these driving gender archetypes is the fact that we haven’t taken this chance to educate better drivers, who are both skilful and mindful of safety, and care to abide traffic laws.
Both gender-based schools of thought are wrong, because they are incomplete, skill and assertiveness need calm and finesse, found only in a peaceful state of mind.
Racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart always emphasized the importance of smooth and calm driving, with delicate control of the car and focusing on safety. And I think we can all learn from that.
This classic Jackie Stewart film is a great starting point towards better driving.