RAC Cars News


Women Drivers Beat Men At Proficiency Test

By raccars Published

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An investigation by an insurance company, has revealed results that will upset some and surprise many - after a series of tests, women outperformed male drivers. Tests included negotiating London's Hyde Park Corner, one of the country's busiest junctions.

The tests did show that gender stereotyping is not entirely accurate when it comes to the way men and women perform behind the wheel. The male drivers studied exhibited riskier behaviour behind the wheel, including tailgating, cutting corners, racing through amber traffic lights and using a mobile phone while at the wheel. However, women were proven to be more considerate and courteous drivers, proceeded more carefully in potentially hazardous situations, took more care to use their mirrors and were more likely to stop at amber traffic lights.

The male female driving proficiency debate has been ongoing for a very long time, with men vociferous in proclaiming their superiority. They are unlikely to appreciate this alternative conclusion!

Along with practical driving skills, the investigation measured 1,383 driver attitudes. Women were shown to be extremely modest compared to male drivers and only 28% of survey respondents considered that they drove better than men. However, only 13% returned the same compliment to women drivers.

The tests were designed by Neil Beeson, a driving instructor, and were carried out by 50 drivers of both sexes. Each followed a carefully designed route, while enduring an in car assessment and observation by 200 anonymous critics at the Hyde Park Corner section of the operation.

Marks were given for 14 different driving categories, including observational skills, speed, traffic light response and how they responded to other road users. The maximum score was 30. The women drivers achieved an average score of 23.6 points or 79%, but the average score for men was a lowly 19.8 or 66%.

Breaking down the scores, the men edged marginally ahead when it came to controlling and steering their vehicles and in observational skills. However, they also tended to cut into traffic more dangerously, failed to use their indicators adequately, were less likely to remain within the speed limit and generally have a negative impact upon other road users. Both sexes scored the same, 64%, when it came to choosing the appropriate speed for the circumstances, although elsewhere in the test male drivers were dramatically outperformed by the women when choosing the appropriate speed with which to approach hazards.

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