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Unlucky Gents! Women Are The Better Drivers, Here's Why

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What are women better than men at? That's a question sure to stir up many different opinions - but let's keep this one all about the facts. Believe it or not, driving is one area where the ladies seem to have one-up on the gents. No wonder women tend to get better deals on car insurance than men. We’re unpacking all the reasons why, right here.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn how culture and society shape gender perceptions
  • Get the hang of the most recent stats on gender-based driving behaviour
  • Discover the critical traits of better drivers
  • Wise-up on how to improve your driving with top tips
  • Find out how Cartrack helps you improve safety and responsibility

Men vs women: The age-old squabble has taken to the streets. But who’s less likely to have an accident?

One of the most important points to establish before embarking on a gender-based discussion of driving behaviour is what exactly “better driver” means. Responsible driving is the most desired attribute linked to better driving, especially in South Africa, where poor road conditions and sky-high accident rates are prevalent.

As we start exploring some of the differences between men and women and just how these play a role in their driving behaviours, looking at how society shapes our views on gender and gender-based behaviour is a great way to create some valuable context.

Cultural and societal factors linked to gender differences in driving

Two notable factors moulding gender perception are culture and society. And, when it comes to driving behaviour, the general norms set out by these factors can also influence how men and women make decisions while on the road.

  • Socialisation: Cultural norms influence gender roles and expectations, which can lead boys to be more assertive and competitive and girls to be more cautious and risk-conscious. These influences potentially impact their driving behaviour later in life.
  • Perceptions of masculinity and femininity: In numerous cultures, masculinity is linked to traits like dominance and aggression, leading to men’s tendency to adopt riskier driving behaviours to demonstrate or conform to societal expectations.
  • Attitudes and beliefs: Cultural and societal norms influence attitudes about gender and driving. For instance, the belief that men are naturally better drivers can lead to riskier driving displays among men.
  • Peer influence and peer pressure: Cultural and societal norms shape peer groups and social circles, exerting significant influence on behaviour. When a culture promotes risk-taking among men, it tends to foster a social environment where such actions are accepted or admired due to peer pressure.

It’s a popular belief that the way we understand the world around us is influenced by both nature and nurture. And, when it comes to nurture, culture and society are some of the most important shapers of the way we see gender as well as gender-based behaviour.

3 gender-based driving questions you’ve been itching to ask plus their honest answers

Does gender play a role in driving?

When it comes to responsible driving, gender plays a role.

While women come out on top as the most reliable drivers, it’s also been statistically proven that confidence levels can affect their driving abilities. While men tend to struggle more with irresponsible habits like speeding, tailgating, and harsh braking, women are more prone to underconfidence, which can also affect driver performance.

Are there more male than female drivers?

This can differ from country to country. Let’s use America as an example.

In 2021, licensed US women drivers outnumbered licensed male drivers on the roads. However, females travel fewer miles, making it less likely that a US driver on the road at any given time is female. So ultimately, the percentage of male drivers on the road in the US is higher than female drivers.

Are women or men better drivers?

Today in South Africa, women exhibit a higher likelihood of responsible driving behaviour than men. And, considering local role-players like poor road conditions and high-accident rates, “responsible driver” is a fitting definition for “better driver”.

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What constitutes a good driver? 5 telltale signs

Some drivers are from Venus, while some are from Mars. Still, basic behaviours linked to responsible driving remain the same regardless. So, the tendency of men versus women to exhibit these behaviours becomes fundamental to winning the title of “best driver.”

Behold the five telltale signs of good drivers:

  1. A clear mind

    Level-headedness decreases the likelihood of uncontrolled anger and a lack of impulsive behaviour. Keeping cool helps you avoid tunnel vision and a lack of awareness of what’s happening around you. It ensures you remain mentally sharp with optimal reaction times and a decreased tendency to make rash choices, directly affecting driver skill and safety. Be the one that cracks a charming smile instead of giving the guy in front of you that middle finger.
  2. Proper indicator use

    Notifying everyone around you of your plans to turn or change lanes may seem like a no-brainer, but if you think about it, the absence of indicator use is something you tend to see on the road almost daily. Whether it’s a driver who doesn’t know how to use an indicator at a traffic circle or an obnoxious lane-changer on the highway, a lack of signalling is common road-based etiquette. All-in-all, proper indicator use shows you value your safety and the safety of others around you.
  3. An avid follower of traffic rules

    The rules of the road are, according to many motorists, open to interpretation. However, bending the rules lead to accidents, and injuries, and causes a dangerous lack of consistency in how drivers behave. Once a driver understands the goal of traffic rules to mitigate risk and reduce car accidents, it’s easier to make sense of why it’s important to follow them.
  4. No speeding today…or ever

    Can you honestly say that you’ve never received a traffic fine for speeding? Most of us, regardless of gender, are guilty of speeding, even if it is just 65km/h in a 60km/h zone. What makes a good driver, though, is trying your best to stay within the limit and not allowing overwhelming emotions or road rage to dictate how much you want to bend the rules on any given day.
  5. Avoiding distractions

    Do you have a no-phone-use policy while driving? Making sure you keep your eyes where they should be - on the road, keeps you and everyone around you safe. Enable hands-free while driving if you can. But, even then, screen your calls and only respond to emergencies, as you’re likely to shift your focus to the conversation instead of traffic-related events happening around you.

The verdict’s out - women take pole position

The official report by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) does not lie; the title of Responsible Driver undisputably goes to the fairer sex.

  • From 1982 to 2021, speeding was identified as a contributing factor for a greater percentage of male drivers than female drivers involved in fatal crashes.
  • During the same period, the proportion of fatally-injured DUI passenger vehicle drivers has been substantially higher for males.
  • Seventy-two per cent of all motor vehicle crashes in 2021 were males, accounting for 72% of passenger vehicle driver deaths, 48% of passenger vehicle passenger deaths, 70% of pedestrian deaths, 86% of bicyclist deaths and 92% of motorcyclist deaths.

In the end, accidents involving male drivers tend to be more fatal and are more likely to be attributed to risky driving behaviour.

The involvement of men versus women in fatal road accidents globally

While the above data is US-based, research revealing global statistics tells the same story when it comes to fatal road-based accidents.

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There’s always room for improvement: men's and women’s top tips for becoming more responsible drivers

Whether you’re a male or female driver, doing some introspection on your daily driving behaviour will help you become a better driver by identifying and working on improvement points. And, because men and women are different, what can be better than providing a tailored list for each?

Men, this is how you can step it up a gear

  1. Don’t let other drivers’ irresponsible behaviour affect your focus

    Careless driving from other drivers will make anyone’s blood boil, but two wrongs won’t make a right. Keep your cool and maintain a defensive driving approach to counter the risky behaviour of others.
  2. Avoid distractions

    Distractions come in many shapes and forms. From smoking in your car to listening to loud music or replying to a text message, you're busy entertaining a distraction if your eyes and mind are not where they should be — the road.
  3. Adopt and keep a growth mindset

    A growth mindset involves looking at situations from a there's-always-something-to-learn perspective. No matter how careful you drive, never settle for thinking your driving doesn't require any improvements.

Gals, to keep the bragging rights, consider these points

  1. Drive with confidence

    With statistics showing women as less likely to be confident about their driving abilities, it’s important to understand that a lack of confidence on the road can be dangerous. The best way to improve your driver confidence is to stay focused on the road and be ready for anything.
  2. Avoid multitasking

    It’s something women are notoriously good at, but when weighing up the pros and cons of multitasking while driving, your safety and the safety of others should be the first priority. While women are known to take fewer risks on the road and drive carefully, multitasking remains tempting.
  3. Don’t let emotions distract you

    Ever had to drive away after receiving bad news or having a fight with a loved one or partner? Take a moment to clear your head before hitting the road to ensure you drive with a focused mind.

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Explore Cartrack’s expert tools for better driving

Nobody’s perfect, so having reliable tools that promote improved driving while prioritising vehicle safety is something no driver should be without.

As for gender-based driving performance, keep up the good work, ladies! It’s official: women drivers have outshone the male drivers of Mzansi. And, having more conscientious, focused drivers on the road elevates everyone’s road-based safety.

Speaking of safety, Cartrack Singapore’s SaaS-based platform is developed with drivers in mind. Here are four ways Cartrack’s revolutionary tech can help improve your safety:

  • Advanced vehicle tracking

    A car is a priceless lifeline, so make sure you protect yours. With a state-of-the-art vehicle tracking device installed in your car, backed by our 90%+ independently-audited vehicle recovery rate, you can keep your vehicle safe from hijackings and theft.
  • Real-time crash detection

    Don’t end up stranded in the event of an accident. With smart IoT technology, we receive real-time crash notifications, allowing us to dispatch live-saving emergency responses on your behalf and notify the most important people in your life.
  • Detailed driver behaviour reports

    Make sure you drive safely with insightful trip reports. With the touch of a button, you can review your performance on common risky driving behaviours like harsh braking, fast cornering, excessive speeding and more, helping you be more mindful of your road behaviour so you can make improvements.
  • Peace of mind with Catrack Protector

    Stuck on the side of the road with no petrol and no one to call? Cartrack’s Protector is there for you when you’re stranded or in need of help, giving you access to roadside, legal, and medical assistance so you’ve got what you need to stay safe.

Stay on the winning side of vehicle-safety stats, contact Cartrack Singapore today to increase the safety for you, your loved ones and those around you with our industry-leading vehicle-safety solutions.

The battle of the sexes is taking to the road. Are women better drivers? Here’s what the latest stats say.