13 Reasons Why Women are Better Drivers than Men

If you were to ask just about any random person on the street, they’d probably say that men tend to be better drivers than women. It’s not clear how this misconception began, but there’s plenty of evidence out there to refute it. While few people would argue with the fact that men tend to be more mechanically inclined – and, as such, more knowledgeable about how cars work – the truth is that in terms of safety, female drivers have male drivers beat by a considerable margin. Not convinced? We’ve culled the darkest depths of the Internet – including some very prominent sources – to bring you 13 definitive reasons why women are better drivers than men; check them out below.

#1: Men Feel Like they “Own the Road”

According to a New York City traffic study*, a participant is quoted regarding the tendency of men to feel like they “own the road.” While there is no definitive way to quantify how many men feel this way, virtually anyone who has been a passenger in a car driven by a guy can attest to this fact. Many of the aggressive behaviors that men exhibit while behind the wheel could very well stem from their belief that the road is “theirs.” In turn, disregard for other drivers results in higher numbers of accidents and fatalities. Women tend to be more comfortable with the concept of sharing the road with others, and don’t tend to be possessive or territorial about their driving habits.

#2: Women Have Fewer Accidents

AccidentMale drivers often insist that they have more skill and finesse on the road than female drivers do. This may be true, but proving or disproving such a claim is virtually impossible. What can be quantified, though, are accident statistics. According to Quality Planning* (an insurance statistics company), their study shows that male drivers are significantly more likely to cause accidents than female drivers are. Most people would agree that accidents are definite signs of being not-so-skilled behind the wheel – after all, accident-prone drivers put all other drivers at risk every time they hit the road. As popular as the stereotype of the fender-bender-causing female may be, the stats show that men have a lot more problems in that area.

#3: Scantily Clad Women Are More of a Distraction to Men than Women

During the summer months, women are commonly seen walking around in decidedly skimpy attire. Some drivers tend to have a more difficult time keeping their eyes on the road when scantily-clad women walk by – and it’s fairly easy to surmise who they are. ABC News highlighted a study by the British car insurance agency Sheilas’ Wheels* that reports some very interesting facts about male drivers’ focus on the road during the summer. According to the study, approximately 29% of men report having trouble keeping their attentions on the road when skimpily-attired women pass them by. Needless to say, female drivers don’t tend to have the same issue. More tellingly, men file about 16% more insurance claims during the summer than women do.

#4: Motherly Instincts Give Female Drivers an Edge

In an article about a New York City traffic study* that generally shows 80% of all serious pedestrian accidents were caused by male drivers, the New York Times quotes a respondent who cites motherly instincts as being a major advantage that women have over men. Most people would agree that the majority of women are born with innate, nurturing instincts. Those instincts could make women more conscientious about being safe drivers. Most women have a natural tendency to want to protect those around them. Therefore, they are more likely to be defensive drivers and to steer as clear of accident-causing behaviors as possible.  Being a caring mother may pay off to becoming a caring, and therefore safer, driver.

#5: Women Have Longer Attention Spans, Partially Due to Estrogen

Recently, a whole lot of attention has been giving to the dangers of texting while driving. Prior to that, a huge movement about the dangers of talking on cell phones while driving was conducted*. Taking your attention away from the road is definitely a recipe for disaster, and it stands to reason that those with shorter attention spans are more likely to experience problems in that department. The University of Bradford study suggests that estrogen tends to give women much longer attention spans than men. Despite the popular stereotype of female drivers who apply makeup and perform other frivolous tasks behind the wheel, it is clear that women tend to be able to focus more carefully on important matters. When it comes to driving, this tendency gives them a distinct advantage over men. Quoting the study, “Oestrogens may positively influence neuronal activity in the frontal lobes, the area of the brain stimulated by tasks of attention and rule learning “

#6: Women are Better at Learning and Obeying Rules (Also due to Estrogen)

According to the same study above, women have a much better ability to learn rules than men do. This fact is also attributed to the hormone estrogen, and could explain why female drivers tend to be cited for far fewer traffic violations than men. The fact that women have a natural tendency to absorb and obey the rules could make them safer, and better, drivers.

#7: Women Break Fewer Traffic Laws than Men

According to the same study by Quality Planning*, women tend to break fewer traffic laws than their male counterparts. The fact that male drivers are more like to wave away traffic laws as being silly or superfluous is undeniably dangerous. Such laws are in place to maintain order and safety on the road. The study shows that statistically, men are much more likely to be cited for a litany of traffic violations. A few top examples include reckless driving, DUIs, speeding, failure to yield and stop sign/signal violations. If you see a guy driving around, it’s a lot more likely that he’ll cause a serious accident by disobeying traffic laws than it would be if he were a female driver.

#8: Women Outlive Men in General

The fact that women tend to outlive men is pretty much common knowledge. According to the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University*, 85% of those who live beyond the age of 100 are women. The article highlights several reasons for this; one of them involves the famously dangerous and aggressive behaviors of teenage males and guys in their twenties. The so-called “testosterone storm” that occurs during that age period surely has a significant impact on male driving habits. Women, of course, don’t have to cope with testosterone-fueled behavior shifts. As a result, they are much more likely to live through their teenage and young adult years; safer habits and behaviors, including those behind the wheel, help women outlive men by 5 to 10 years, on average.

#9: Women Have Fewer Driving-Related Fatalities

The Insurance Information Institute* brings additional information to light regarding the driving habits of men versus those of women. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, male drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in fatality-causing accidents than women are. Aggressive driving habits tend to be at the center of this phenomenon. Risk of fatalities between both sexes tends to go down as drivers’ ages go up, further reinforcing the concept that aggressive and risk-taking behaviors – which tend to be the provenance of the young and unskilled – trigger more deaths than anything else on the road.

#10: Men Aren’t the Only Race Car Drivers

NASCAR fans will attest that the fact that the vast majority of race car drivers are men signifies that men are more skilled behind the wheel. You’d have to be living under a rock, though, to be unaware of the fact that there is one glaring exception to this rule. Her name is Danica Patrick, and she’s proven to be one of the most skilled race car drivers out there*. In addition to participating in NASCAR/ARCA racing, Patrick has been a prominent fixture on the IndyCar Series for some time, and the first woman ever to win an Indy race, and recently placed 3rd in the Indianapolis 500. While some would argue that one female driver amid hundreds of guys doesn’t mean a whole lot, the fact remains that men do not hold a strict monopoly in the world of auto racing.

#11: Women are More Likely to Wear Seatbelts

While buckling a seatbelt isn’t necessarily a sure sign of driving prowess, it does indicate a more conscientious approach to operating a motor vehicle. Several studies, including the one from SADD* (Students Against Drunk Driving) notes that about 12.5% of male students admit to rarely or never using seatbelts. That’s compared with about 7.8% of female students. Having the wherewithal to use a seatbelt is a clear demonstration that a driver takes safety on the road seriously. Most would agree that safety on the road is a clear indication of skill behind the wheel.

#12: Men Are More Likely to Drive and Drive

Drinking and driving is one of the leading causes of traffic accidents and fatalities* according to MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). The aforementioned NYC traffic study touches upon the fact that men are more likely to take drugs and drink before getting behind the wheel. A huge amount of evidence exists, such as the Michigan Drunk Driving Audit, to support the fact that men are much more likely to be arrested and convicted of DUIs than women*. Again, this concept could be tied to men’s sense of power and control over the road, and to their more aggressive tendencies in general. The fact that women are more reluctant to drive while impaired reinforces the concept that they are safer, more conscientious drivers than men.

#13: Testosterone = Aggression?

Despite the widespread belief that an overabundance of testosterone may lead to aggressive behavior, many recent studies, such as one by the New York Academy of Sciences*, suggest that a deficiency of the famous male hormone may be behind more aggressive behavior. Evidence about such a link is still unclear, but there is definitely a fundamental difference in the way that men and women behave in many scenarios. Since aggressive driving tends to be a higher problem among male drivers, there’s a very real possibility that testosterone is somehow to blame.

Conclusion:

Do the preceding points definitively prove that women are better drivers than men? Not necessarily. When considered on a case-by-case basis, it’s easy to refute or downplay those points. When taken as a whole, though, they present a very compelling argument for the fact that women tend to be safer, more conscientious – and better – drivers. Regardless of how much evidence exists – and continues to crop up – there’s no doubt that the never-ending battle between the sexes will continue. As long as men and women exist, that battle will never be definitively won. If you have a choice between being driven around by a woman or a man, though, you should probably hedge your bets and stick with the female driver.

Do you agree or disagree? Let your thoughts be heard in the comments area at the end of this page:

* Sources:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/pedsafetyreport.shtml

http://www.alphagalileo.org/

http://www.qualityplanning.com/

http://www.sheilaswheels.com/

http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/life_sciences/report-51251.html

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/about/pedsafetyreport.shtml

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/29773.php

http://www.iii.org

http://www.sadd.org/stats.htm

http://www.madd.org/Drunk-Driving/Drunk-Driving/Statistics.aspx

http://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,1607,7-123-1645_3501_4626-27728–,00.html

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1196/annals.1330.016/abstract

32 Comments to 13 Reasons Why Women are Better Drivers than Men

  1. paul acoin's Gravatarpaul acoin September 27, 2010

    Some of these references are true… but i have confliction that
    womens are good drivers enough that stories are submitted about
    their accident less than men, i have my own experience about this
    term that women gets confuse early and many men dont allow women to
    drive on highways or long route.. but really enjoyed your article..
    thank you God Bless you

  2. I have a feeling a women wrote this…

  3. Mile for mile, women get in more wrecks than men. We likely drive
    more often than women because frankly, they’re scary drivers. That
    is why overall, more men get in wrecks than women. There are
    significantly more of us behind the wheel at any given time.

  4. #12: Men Are More Likely to Drive and Drive This is madness…!

  5. Kris Adams's GravatarKris Adams September 29, 2010

    Men are better at learning the skill of driving. It’s like most
    physical sports. Now before lesbians picket outside my house.. Men
    are not better than woman. Men are DIFFERENT to woman. Each gender
    has several unique skills which they are stronger at than the other
    gender. I think driving is one of them for men. Granted, all men
    are not better drivers than all woman. But I think, on average, men
    are better drivers.

  6. they are great drivers imo

  7. It seems to me like all of the studies were in NY. Why? More men
    probably drive in NY than women so, statistically, they would be in
    more accidents. Gotta agree with Mario on this one. Also, the
    Danica Patrick argument ought to cancel out some of the other
    numbers on this list. Have you ever seen her after she gets out of
    her car? She is crazy and not in a good way. Not to mention the
    fact that she is a terrible stock car driver (and that is not my
    opinion, it is just based on statistics)

  8. The Hick's GravatarThe Hick March 23, 2011

    Alot more men are on the road than women. Men crash 5.1 times per
    million milles( i think its million) and women crash 5.7 times.
    Also a diffrence between better can probly clear up this debate
    allitle, when men say ” men drive BETTER” better means they have
    more skill, would win in a race bla bla bla. Every time i talk to
    girls about this the argument ends after i ask if “better” means
    safer to thim, it does. So girls are probly safer drivers, but i
    dont have amsingle friend thats a girl that can out drive me.

  9. No, men get in more wrecks because men are more likely to drive
    like idiots then women. Every time I see someone cutting people
    off, speeding, going through red lights, weaving in and out of
    traffic, 95 times out of 100 it’s a man. Every single person on a
    motorcycle who drives like an idiot has been male. Every time. I’m
    saying this as a female motorcyclist. Women drive cars to
    accomplish a goal – to get from point A to point B SAFELY. Many men
    do not understand this simple concept. Men (not all of course)
    drive their cars like they are in NASCAR, and they are less
    patient. The problem stems from men’s arrogance and cockeyness. I
    can’t even drive my car with a man in it without them telling me
    how to park, when to change lanes, etc. It’s insulting because I
    have been driving fine without them.

  10. Shawn's GravatarShawn May 16, 2011

    Hahaha just reading all this makes my day (: okay so women live
    longer than men, agreed, how does that relate to driving? I looked
    around at other websites and have seemed to find that at about age
    40 men are shown to be in less accidents than women of the same age
    so I guess that women live longer just to get into more accidents?
    Women do their fair share of speeding and weaving through traffic.
    I’m only 17 and have had 2 separate occasions where a female driver
    has nearly caused a car wreck on the highway but I had to swerve
    off the road to avoid them. Testosterone does cause a man to become
    more aggressive but on the female side of it, when women hit their
    monthly cycle, they seem to become outraged even easier and be more
    aggressive.

  11. Gummibear:)'s GravatarGummibear:) June 28, 2011

    women are way better drivers of coarse men are arguing because it
    “demasculatizes them” but truth is they need to admit that clearly
    women are better:)

  12. Rayya's GravatarRayya July 7, 2011

    Well obviously there is more men in the US, but statistics are
    based on the same amount if they do it out of a hundred men they
    are going to use a hundred women. Men are so stuck on driving these
    fast cars and being reckless its crazy. Women drive the way they do
    cause they love there life. Men sometimes i think they dont care.
    There are resons that insurance companies charge men so much for
    insurance from the ages of 16-25 cause they have done the studies
    themselves. It is what it is men face the facts your skills are not
    that good.

  13. I hate angry fat people's GravatarI hate angry fat people August 2, 2011

    lets make this clear, I been cut off almost hitting me by a fat
    women driving a big of truck who is clearly spatially challenged.
    Men are more skilled drivers, but are bad drivers because they are
    more aggressive. Women are better drivers in a sense that they can
    be more careful but in noway are they more skilled drivers than
    men. Women should not drive big SUVs because it give them false
    sense of security because it is so big, you cant hardly feel the
    road in reality that they are traveling much faster. If women would
    all drive small cars they would actually feel how fast they are
    going. In reality, women are more spatially challenged and
    emotionally driven which is a bad combination on the road.

  14. Danica Patrick is an absolutely TERRIBLE race driver, both in terms of skill and professionalism. Her continued involvement in motorsport is largely a publicity stunt. If you had cited, say, Simona de Silvestro or Sabine Schmitz, that example might not be utterly ridiculous.

    I’d also like to address this:
    “The so-called “testosterone storm” that occurs during that age period surely has a significant impact on male driving habits. Women, of course, don’t have to cope with testosterone-fueled behavior shifts.”
    “Hormones affect male behavior. Females are unaffected by hormones.”

    I cannot and will not argue with statistics concerning insurance claims (except to say that they do not cover all accidents and incidents), but this article is incredibly poorly thought out.

  15. I would place this article in the opinion column at best. We can
    claim statistics this and statistics that all day long, but unless
    it directly applies to you, it doesn’t really matter. I’m not going
    to get worked up over some biased article. I’m a 25 year old male
    driver, and have been accident free since I learned to drive.

  16. I agree because when I read it for my family they accept my
    driving.

  17. Isn’t good.

  18. I am going to call bull**** I am state trooper and i have been
    called to more accidents where women are the cause of the accidents
    than men. i pull over more women for running red lights than men
    and it is 50/50 with the DWIs.

  19. mohammad's Gravatarmohammad January 28, 2012

    dude you should know that both men and woman agree that men are
    better drivers(the majority of them)if you say testosterone makes
    men angry i say pms makes woman deprived of sleep so you do the
    maths…oops that another thing men are good at;)

  20. I also see this study says women get less tickets. I believe they
    get off more often than men on tickets. What cop doesn’t give a
    good looking girl with a low cut shirt a break. Men probably do get
    more dui. Men take that risk,and they’re women are more likely to
    let him drive if they were both drinking. They should look soley at
    accidents per mile. Thats where men beat women. Who cares how many
    seat belt tickets you have? I never say an accident caused by a
    lack of wearing a seatbelt. I am a motorcyclist and its older women
    who scare me the most.

  21. Anasrama's GravatarAnasrama February 2, 2012

    This article is terrible, my own mother even thinks that women are
    terrible drivers. The only times i have been nearly been killed in
    car related incidents is; Driving and nearly being taken off the
    road by a women in an SUV, walking across the street when the walk
    sign was on and another woman in an SUV flew through the red light
    and missed me by about two feet, and another time when this lady
    was on her cell phone and nearly took out the cars in front of us.

  22. Women don’t own the road like men? ROTFLMAO! That was a joke right?

  23. Im gunna call BS on a couple things. Especially women get in fewer
    crashes… I cant find you’re source for that one… Women get in
    more they’re just less serious. And how many women over men would
    try and avoid an insurrance claim? And there is that female race
    driver thing. Thats bull. Danica Patrick has won one, one, indy
    race: Japan 300 Second is womens attention span. How many women in
    military special forces do you see? You dont normally hear about
    how that one airforce pararescue guy got distracted by the pretty
    girl in the village while he was looking for the vip to rescue.
    Third, Men get in way less crashes per mile. Fourth men are more
    intuitive in the geometry and spatial areas. Women… are not. Man=
    better driver with worse luck And traffic violations, percentage of
    male cops over female cops? Men can be pretty easily persuaded by a
    manipulative women.. Just sayin…

  24. And women are straight up terrible drivers.. i cant list how many
    times I’ve almost been hit by a woman but I wasnt cause I got out
    of dodge. Cause I am a better driver. Us men should just start
    letting our cars get hit by you women. You ignorant women who write
    these kind of articles. You know you’re in the wrong just admit it.
    And another point just cause Im mad about insurance prices. I have
    never been in an accident with another male. The three times I was
    in an accident,w as a woman. Rear ended and tboned. Was women
    drivers. The tbone I almost got out of but the woman panicked and
    turned into me.. The rear ended. Once was on the freeway. I
    fishtaled hit another car and I got the citation the chick who did
    gave a sob story to the stupid pig. I got rearended again at a dead
    stop in a 35 to turn left. The woman was going fifty- sixty. I
    tried to floor it but didnt have enough time.

  25. Hahah ok here I go -Women get distracted easier I se then on there
    cell phones putting makeup on even reading books !!! -women out
    live men WTF dose that have to due with driving? -testtausterone
    hahaha what bout girls periods and mood swings that affects all
    girls not just a few with there hormones mest up -they are race car
    divers one again wtf dose this have to do with the topic It was
    proven by insurance company’s that men COST more to insure because
    we dive more often and using drive nicer cars And these study’s
    were done awhile ao I did some resuch and it said that the numbers
    are changing that when the test were taken girls were just being
    allowed to drive for a reasonable insurgence cost and had to trive
    good and follow rules so they could drive because at that poing
    there rights weren’t like men’s but afte awhile aka now there
    following the rules is evening out with men if not worse. And at
    high school I have seen girls that have totaled 3 cars There is not
    one guy who has touted his car twice problely du to the reason guys
    know how to fix there cars them selfs and don’t crash into things
    hahaha I Call BS A man wrote this

  26. Sean L's GravatarSean L July 26, 2012

    I wonder if by safer they mean slower because alot of the women
    I’ve encountered are that, really slow! I’ve lost count of how many
    times I’ve driven down a highway and seen these women in minivans
    driving 5 to 10 miles below the speed limit!!! Why do men seem
    “aggressive”?, it’s pretty simple, we’ve got things to do and the
    last thing we want to do is have our travel time extended because
    some fat broad in minivan feels she can dictate the speed of
    everyone else by making them go at her slower speed. I see these
    types in the far left lane, for the fast drivers which makes it
    even more annoying to be on the road with them. I’m not advocating
    anyone go at like speeds in excess of like 20 miles over the speed
    limit but 5 over in most areas and 10 on the highway is well within
    reason. I would love to see how fast or lack thereof the individual
    who wrote this article drives at. I wouldn’t be shocked in the
    least if the person who wrote this fits the description of the type
    of slow driver I listed above.

  27. true: women have less accidents then men, but what are the
    statistics per-capita?

  28. I love how people mis-quote the statistics to suit their political
    agendas. I see that they forgot to account for a few variables. Men
    drive more (about 18% more)than women. That alone means they will
    be getting into more accidents per year, but not per mile. There
    are also other factors to include in the study. Men make up 95% of
    all motorcycle riders, a group that has the highest fatality rate.
    This group alone is why men have more fatalities. Men are also much
    more likely to be driving industrial equipement (tractor-trailers,
    farm equipement, construction equipement, moving trucks, ect.).
    These vehicles require a much higher skill level to safely operate
    and are more heavily scrutinized, thus more tickets, accidents, and
    fatalities. Another thing to consider is population dispersion and
    work habbits. Men are more likely than women to be operating a
    vehicle at night (men work more night shifts), more likely to be
    driving on secondary roads (farming, shipping, rural living), and
    more likely to drive at interstate speeds. All of these things
    increase a likelyhood of crashing. Also, even when a ticket is
    deserved, a study has shown that a women is 12% more likely than a
    man to simply recieve a warning. To gauge this correctly this must
    be accounted for. When men and women are studied in the same
    vehicle, same weather conditions, same mileage, and same road
    condtions, men have 16% fewer accidents and 14% fewer moving
    violations. All of this is backed up by statistics recorded by the
    John’s Hopkins School of Public Health.

  29. Okay so are we meaning better as in every guy in my family is a way
    better driver then any girl I know or as in safer like in my
    grandfather? Girls will be on there phone a lot and that causes a
    ton of crashes and Women have more crashes per mile. All though men
    16-25 are idiots not going to lie. They have the most fatalities in
    car crashes. Men being more likely to drink and drive is just a
    false stereotype. Men are better in crisis situations. That is the
    safe side of it. The better side – Men are just superior. Only like
    one female race car driver have ever won. Men can respond to things
    and figure out what to faster than women. When you can drive a race
    car and win multiple times it isn’t that hard to drive on normal
    roads… My conclusion is that Men and Women are equal as much as
    it hurts me to say it. Women are safer than Men statistically but
    men are better drivers.

  30. Rosemary Boatwright's GravatarRosemary Boatwright March 1, 2014

    I think women are better drivers because we can multi task where men cannot. We obey the rules of the road where most men do not want to do this.

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at companies that everyone around my hometown swore were the cheapest (including unadvertised "bargain" companies and giant comparison shopping brands), I decided to shop here at CheapCarInsurance and ended up saving just under $1,100 off my annual insurance bill, which is a lot more than I ever could have imagined anyone saving, especially me, an avid online shopper and extreme bargain hunter [...]

This is pretty ridiculous considering the fact that: 1st, I had regularly asked my former insurance company for reviews and discounts; 2nd, I recently got a speeding ticket in a school zone (which I am a bit ashamed to say) just before I switched; and 3rd, that $1,100 savings was before I got an additional discount for bundling my home insurance on my policy (which is a lot lower now too).

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, 10 years of loyalty did not pay off for me, and was replaced by a 5 minute quote that will save me thousands down the road. In short, our family owns 3 cars, and my new rates are about half my old rates; so not bad for the little additional time it took to compare quotes and digitally sign a policy.

Obviously, not everyone will save nearly as much as I did, but it's well worth your 5 minutes to find out, even if you end up only saving a few hundred dollars per year, potentially adding up to thousands over a couple years."

Jared

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