Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Men More Dangerous Behind The Wheel?

Scenes of Men Behind the Wheel

From the NYT, so registration may be required:

Are Men More Dangerous at the Wheel?

A new study conducted by Quality Planning, an auto insurance analytics firm, has concluded that male drivers cause more havoc on the road than their female counterparts.

Between August 2007 and September 2008, Quality Planning looked at 1.1 million insurance policyholders (51 percent female, 49 percent male) and tallied the number of moving violations for each gender. And the company found that women are more observant of traffic laws than men.

Specifically, men in the study were cited for reckless driving 3.41 times more than women, and cited for seatbelt violations 3.08 times more often. Men were more likely to speed and fail (or refuse, perhaps) to yield.

The study also concluded that men drive under the influence more often than women, by at least 50 percent, while women drivers are around 27 percent less likely than men to be found at fault in a car accident. These results are consistent across all age groups, according to the study.

But is there more than one way to define dangerous driving? It could be argued, for example, that exceedingly slow drivers are also hazardous, as are multi-tasking drivers who drive while drinking coffee, using a cell phone or text messaging. Such considerations may not factor into a study that relies exclusively on traffic violations for its statistics.

And from the Quality Planning website:
According to Quality Planning, the data shows that when it comes to traffic laws, women are far more observant of them than men, and that the laws violated more frequently by men are those laws designed to safeguard people and property.

The company noted that reckless driving offenses, committed far more frequently by men, are considered one of the most serious traffic offenses by courts since it implies a disregard for the rights and safety of persons or property.

Yannow, I really can't disagree with any of this as far as my preconceived notions go - I've always thought us guys are usually worse drivers overall. But, since this study isn't actually looking at accident statistics, it looks more to me to be an excuse to raise insurance rates than actual hard data to support their assumptions.


Mo K said...

FWIW, in my experience, it's people on their cellphones rendering them clueless at 4-way stops. And most of them are women. You know how we "love to talk". Gawd.

Also, drivers poking along, obviously lost. I hate to sound like I'm stereotyping, but it's usually Asian women, at least in my neck o' the woods.

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Springfield, MO, there was a study done by a college student that found "soccer-moms" in mini-vans were the most aggressive drivers.