Are Men Better Drivers Than Women?

Jump in and take a look at some interesting data from the AAA on how gender steers our driving skills. Are women drivers really so bad, or are men worse?

By Reader's Digest Editors
Are Men Better Drivers Than Women?© Jupiterimages/Pixland/Thinkstock

According to AAA, the answer is yes… and no. Here’s the scoop:

Plus: 11 Crazy Things We Do While Driving

Men take more risks. In studies, men as a whole display less cautious behavior than women, such as driving at higher speeds and closer to other cars, not wearing seat belts, and driving while intoxicated more often. They even make riskier turns and take less time when parking (although they do a more accurate job, says Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What It Says About Us).

BUT… how someone drives doesn’t necessarily equal how well he drives. Men do seem to be more proficient than women at certain driving tasks. However, this slight edge in ability doesn’t translate into better driving records. The kinds of accidents men get into are generally the result of their riskier behavior. According to one study, men are more than three times as likely to be ticketed for “aggressive driving” than women, and more than 25 percent as likely to be at fault in an accident.

Perception is a powerful thing. Despite the research, psychologists claim that it’s difficult to determine whether men are truly innately better drivers than women or if they’re simply more confident in their driving because they’re perceived to be better, and thus show more proficiency. Similarly, the stereotype that women are weaker drivers may negatively affect their performance behind the wheel.

Women are catching up… which isn’t necessarily good news. Men may be responsible for more accidents than women, but the gap is getting smaller. Today, more women drive (and drive more) than ever before, which has the unfortunate consequence of an increase in speeding, aggressive driving, and even fatal crashes among women.

The take home: Learn from the strengths of both sexes. Drive confidently and carefully. And don’t forget to wear your seat belt.

Source: AAA New York Car & Travel

  • Your Comments

    • snoglydox

      As far as I see it, it use to be equal; men took chances, while women
      were distracted. I have noticed…lately…women taking chances, so women are
      distracted, while taking more chances. I am on the freeway every day,
      and it has become a common place for women speeding, swerving through
      traffic, tailgating, etc., while on the cell phone, touching up makeup,
      etc.

    • Snoglydox

      As far as I see it, it use to be equal; men took chances, while women were distracted. I have noticed women taking chances, so women are distracted, while taking more chances. I am on the freeway every day, and it has become a common place for women speeding, swerving through traffic, tailgating, etc., while on the cell phone, touching up makeup, etc.

    • ian

      whats interesting is that this suggests (and I have read elsewhere that this is the case) that men are better drivers (better safety record) – per km. but since men typically drive more often, particularly when its husband and wife/bf and gf in the car, that they get in more accidents per unit time… and the closing statements of this article back that up – stating that women are driving more and more – and their accident rates are in turn, going up…

    • Dimebag

      50 miles/hour on the speed lane of the highway. Doesn’t respond to flashes. I usually know before i get past her that she is a woman. Some tasks are really made for men. Just show her a nice sign(middle finger) and go past her. It’s really a nice experience in a way. A lot of women suck.