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10 Reasons Why Men Are Better Drivers Than Women

man_driving_car

The war between the sexes has been raging since the dawn of time, and driving prowess is definitely among the most hotly contested of them all. For whatever reason, men love to claim that they are superior to women when it comes to driving.

Unfortunately for them, many reputable studies show that women have many inherent traits that make them safer and more conscientious drivers. Whoever said good road manners make excellent drivers, though? Just because women look like superior drivers on paper doesn’t mean that they actually are…right?

While many credible studies show that women don’t tend to drink and drive as often as men, or that their maternal instincts make them more careful drivers, these are certainly not the end of the story when it comes to the driving acumen of man versus woman. Like most other things, there is plenty of evidence out there that refutes the claim that women are better drivers than men. In fact, the prevailing sentiment continues to persist that men best women when it comes to matters of the road.

MORE: How to Find the Cheapeast Car Insurance in Your State

If men are going to boast about their superiority to women on the open road, they might as well have some ammunition to back it up, and most of these points are backed up by reputable studies:

1: Men are involved in fewer crashes

Most people automatically assume that male drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents. After all, guys tend to be a lot more aggressive behind the wheel. There are plenty of studies that show that men are more dangerous drivers, but a study by Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health flies in their faces.

The study, which was conducted all the way back in 1998, examined the total number of crashes — non-fatal and fatal alike — and tallied them up by sex. The results were quite interesting, to say the least.

The study showed that men have, on average, 5.1 crashes for every one million miles that they drive. Women, on the other hand, have 5.7 crashes for the same number of miles driven. These results are even more telling when you consider the fact that men drive 74 percent more miles than women do.

MORE: 13 Reasons Why Women Are Better Drivers Than Men

The researchers involved in the study did say that younger male drivers tend to skew things considerably, too. Under age 20, male drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes. Between ages 20 and 35, women and men are equally likely to be involved in crashed. Over age 35, women are more likely to be involved in crashes.

woman_cell_phone

2. Men are less distracted by cell phones

We’re all familiar with the cliché of the female tethered to the phone, providing an intricate account of the days events to anyone who will listen. This is one cliché that appears to have been substantiated. According to a recent Nielsen survey*, women talk on the phone 22 percent more than men each month; a total of 14 hours and 16 minutes — presumably many of those hours logged while navigating a multi-ton automobile through the city streets.

According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 6,000 car crashes a year involve an inattentive driver. The number one culprit is, you guessed it… cellphone usage.

3. Sleep deprivation and PMS

Most of us have likely incurred the wrath of an important female in our lives during “that time of the month”. The wrath just might be warranted though — sleep deprivation is a common symptom of PMS.

A study conducted by the Human Sleep Research Program* found that women with PMS tend to report more sleep-related complaints, including wakefulness, insomnia and fatigue. Sleep deprivation and driving is a potent mix– data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that over 40,000 crashes per year in the United States occur due to driver drowsiness and fatigue.

Additionally, PMS can cause a rational driver to become highly irrational; Road rage is a major epidemic on highways today.

4. Both sexes agree that men are better drivers

While studies can be flawed, gut instinct is hard to argue. Plenty of polls have been conducted that gauge the road prowess of the sexes. A recent one* conducted by Harris-Decima, a Canada-based pollster, showed that 36 percent of respondents claimed that men were better drivers — compared to just 29 percent who made the same claim about women.

Interestingly enough, 48 percent of male respondents said that men were better drivers, while only 25 percent of women thought that their skills trumped those of men on the road.

Some would say sexism is to blame, and perhaps men are just over confident in their abilities*, but it looks like plenty of women will willingly agree that men are superior drivers.

race-car driver

5. Vast majority of winning race car drivers are men

In the world of auto racing, the vast majority of participants are guys, and in terms of winning, too. Driving techniques are a hot topic among men, who will sit and debate the merits of driving in the fast lane versus the slow lane for hours and hours; most women’s eyes will glaze over during such a conversation.

6. Car-related female fatalities on the rise

While many are ready to point to studies that show that female drivers, few people have noticed some of the key studies showing that men are indeed better drivers in some regards.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study showed that traffic fatalities among women have increased within the last 25 years, while the number of male deaths during that same time period have decreased.

7. Men pass the driving test faster

From a very young age, most boys show a natural inclination towards using motorized vehicles. Some would say that this a classic example of “nature versus nurture” and the whole gender stereotyping thing – in other words, boys’ parents are more likely to encourage them to enjoy cars than their female counterparts. That being said, there’s no denying the fact that guys, as a general rule, have a strong natural ability and comprehension when it comes to cars.

tetris

8. Judging speed, spatial analysis and math

One of the most interesting differences appear in the way men and women estimate time, judge speed of things, carry out mental mathematical calculations, orient in space and visualize objects in three dimensions, etc.

In all these tasks, women and men are strikingly different, as they are too in the way their brains process language. This may account, scientists say, for the fact that there are many more male mathematicians, airplane pilots, bush guides, mechanical engineers, architects and race car drivers than female ones.

Not only can men play Tetris better, but they can navigate a car better through complex environments too.

9: Men are more experienced with cars

The automobile was invented by a man (Karl Benz), and for the most part, tinkered with ever since by men as well. as men seem to have an intuitive grasp of how automobiles work.

That’s not to say that women don’t play a part in modern-day automobile engineering. Men tend to start driving at a younger age, and also tend to log more miles. They tend to improve their driving knowledge as well.

dog_in_bag

10. Pets in car and obstructed mirrors

One fact seems to be irrefutably true: Women are more likely to drive around with dogs in their cars. Celebrities like Paris Hilton have made owning pint-sized accessory dogs the “in” thing to do. As a result, scads of female imitators are running around with teeny-tiny dogs of their own. Men are more likely to have their dog in the back of their pickup truck, where they won’t get in the way.

MORE: Safety Tips for Driving With Pets

Survey’s have also shown that female drivers are more likely to hang things from their rear-view mirrors. In doing so, they obstruct their view and aren’t going to be as well-equipped for dealing with on-the-road incidents. Hanging random things from a rear-view mirror is a surefire way to reduce visibility — and to increase the odds of an otherwise avoidable accident. Guys aren’t totally immune to this problem, but it’s a lot more common among women.

The Bottom Line

Will the war between the sexes — at least when it comes to driving skill — ever be won? Probably not. The preceding points, though, can be used as ammunition in any given battle. No side will ever willingly admit defeat, but anyone who says that women are infinitely superior at driving needs to be made aware of these compelling points. Anyone who denies or downplays them just doesn’t want to admit how true they really are.

We need your help to find at least 2 new reasons why you believe men are better drivers, especially if you can back it up with scientific evidence/studies.
Let your thoughts be heard in the comments area at the end of this page:

Sources:

http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality_facts_2005/gender.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3730094
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/articles/spatial_tests.shtml
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/car-life/cheney/men-vs-women-who-are-better-drivers/article1653975
http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n11/mente/eisntein/cerebro-homens.html
http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/auto.html
http://www.askmen.com/top_10/cars/top-10-reasons-women-cant-drive_1.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article513993.ece
http://www.ctlawtribune.com/getarticle.aspx?ID=37988
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980618032130.htm
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/06/980618032130.htm
http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/african-americans-women-and-southerners-talk-and-text-the-most-in-the-u-s/
http://www.distraction.gov/stats-and-facts/
http://www.sleep-aid-center.com/pms-and-sleep-women-with-severe-pms-perceive-their-sleep-quality-to-be-poor/
http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/drowsy.html

40 Comments to 10 Reasons Why Men Are Better Drivers Than Women

  1. Henry Ford's GravatarHenry Ford November 2, 2010

    What an awesome piece!

  2. haha, i agree my girlfriend can’t drive for ish! lol SocialHype –
    Urban Magazine

  3. It’s sexual discrimination to say that men are better drivers than
    women! and it’s completely not true. Women are far better drivers!
    Men are always getting involved in road rage because they fly off
    the handle every time someone looks at them the wrong way. Plus
    they don’t care about anyone but themselves. They speed, drive all
    over the road and don’t mind cutting people off!

  4. WOW, and yes the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale.

  5. hey tim

  6. @Christy… You say its sexual discrimination to say that men are
    better drivers than women and then follow up by stating that women
    are far better drivers. Isn’t that a case of the pot calling the
    kettle black? I know my fair share of woman with road rage as
    well… P.S. Sorry for cutting you off today but you did look at me
    in the worng way…

  7. i knew that

  8. @Christy…Where is my sandwich??

  9. Warren's GravatarWarren May 4, 2011

    GOOD BUT TRUE ONE RYAN

  10. Allen's GravatarAllen May 23, 2011

    I see a lot of speculation, and only a few facts… -Women talk
    more on the phone, that’s true, but where’s the proof that they do
    so more often while in the car, or that they are more likely than
    men to crash while on the phone? -Same thing with the PMS. Prove to
    me that PMS causes women to be worse drivers. -More people agree
    that men are better drivers? Seriously? That’s your reason for why
    men are better drivers? It’s a sexist stereotype, come on. It
    doesn’t mean it’s true. Women are more likely to underestimate
    their abilities, while men are more likely to overestimate.
    Besides, hearing that “women are bad drivers” your entire life can
    really skewer your opinion. -Men win Nascar races 99% of the time?
    Uh, duh. 99% of the drivers are men. Do I even have to explain this
    one? It’s often difficult to break into an all-male field because
    of stereotypes, or because it is seen as more of a man’s thing. Do
    I really need to give any more explanation to this one? -Female
    fatalities are on the rise. I’ll give you that one, but also take
    into consideration that the number of female drivers in general is
    on the rise. Ask anyone, in a traditional family, who is more
    likely to drive the car, mom or dad? Divorce rates and women
    becoming more independent means there are more female drivers on
    the road which means more chances of women being involved in
    crashes. You do have some facts here, but I still see too much
    speculation, which just makes me angry. You are reinforcing
    stereotypes with barely any evidence, which hurts everyone, not
    just women.

  11. Justice's GravatarJustice June 1, 2011

    I have heard forever that women are better drivers. From my
    experience this is totally not true. Men usually don’t panic in
    dangerous situations like most women do. Also men have better
    control of there vehicleost of the time. The big statistic is men
    drive a lot more than wen do. I live in Montana and I have seen bad
    road conditions. Men handle bad whether far better than women. Even
    wen around here like when men drive because they know they are
    better drivers

  12. Shara's GravatarShara July 9, 2011

    Males have shown a trend towards higher spatial awareness in
    numerous studies. However, this hardly matters as countless studies
    have shown women to be involved in far less car accidents (per
    mile, as well as on whole) than their male counterparts. Males may
    parallel park on average better than females, but have been shown
    many times to be greater risk takers and far more likely than
    females to be involved in crashes. So really, a guy can brag all he
    wants about his ability to parallel park and race around, but none
    of that will matter when he crashes his car. Females are safer
    drivers. Who would you rather prefer on the same road as you?

  13. Honestly, these lists are done on a website called Cheap Car
    Insurance. Come on. Plus they also have one done on why Women are
    Better Drivers. These articles are just fueling the debate between
    the genders. I’m not saying one or the other is better, but 6 out
    of 10 people changing lanes without blinkers or just mindlessly
    changing lanes without looking to see me while I am driving is,
    yes, women. A lot of you pull up the argument about men always
    speeding, no one seems to notice that women tend to coast along 10
    or more mph under the speed limit. Isn’t that slightly odd and
    dangerous to do on a freeway? Yet you cry when a man speeds past
    you when in reality they are probably just going the speed limit.
    Don’t get me wrong, men do lots of stupid and dangerous things on
    the road, I even find myself doing it at times, but the matter of
    it is that, neither gender is better as a whole. It’s truly
    insulting that women have lower rates between 16-25, just because
    of what they were born as.

  14. Nick u make a great point about how women drive slower so it seems
    we are driving fast and women dont act like u guys dont speed too
    because i have seen plenty amount of girls who are pulling 80 on a
    freeways that are 65.plus many women are saying is there a study
    that women talk on the phone more no but, dont act like girls dont
    do that i have seen worse like eating or putting on makeup.

  15. Men are more competetive drivers. They have testosterone, which enables them to have proven better reaction time, but also causes them to have much more aggression than women. Women have estrogen, which does allow a longer attention span and a tendency towards learning and obeying rules much easier than men. So, with these gender differences, I can confidently say that men and women both have attributes that allow them to be “good” drivers. However, it’s this that I believe causes argument. What is a good driver? How do you define this? Well maybe you’ll define it as someone who has quick reactions, good reflexes, can stay focused on the task of driving only, has confiedence in their own abilities, and drives often. In this case, I’d say that men are better drivers. They certainly have better reactions and relexes. Men are more able to stay on one task at a time easier than women. Men have a greater confidence in their own abilities and they drive more often than women. Now, if you define a good driver as someone who: has good judgement in predicting danger, can easily identify and obey the rules of driving, respects other drivers on the road, and take driving and safety very seriously, than I would say that women are better drivers than men. Women do not have the same competition level as men, and are much “safer” people. Women are proven to be less aggressive and to have a “motherly instinct,” whether or not they are a mother. They’re protective. Women don’t become angry on the road the same way as men, and are less likely to “race” or “get back at” other drivers. Also, women take driving seriously, meaning they don’t see it as a competition or a way to look good like men do. They’re serious about being safe. So, as you can see, this gender depate all relies on how you define the term “good driver”.

  16. I think this also has to do with the competitiveness of men. Men
    want to be first always and rarely think about what the
    consequences of that could be. In an article for AAA, an Australian
    study found that simply sharing negative stereotypes about bad
    women drivers with women who were driving in a simulator made the
    women twice as likely to collide with a jaywalking pedestrian than
    women drivers not subjected to the stereotype. So what does this
    mean? – It means this site and repeating the stereotypes written
    here might put your girlfriend, mother, sister or daughter at risk
    – pretty scary when you think about it – and sad that men seem to
    thrive on putting women down in the first place.

  17. @Christy: “ITS DISCRIMINATION TO SAY THE MEN ARE BETTER DRIVERS”
    Proceeds to say that Women are “far better drivers than men” So,
    its not acceptable to discriminate one way but its fine for you to
    do the opposite? This is why I cant take feminism seriously.

  18. Actually, men are better drivers than women overall because they’re
    more alert and focused. Women get killed more in accidents than
    men, especially with older women.

  19. I’m a woman… it took me 3 times to pass the driving test. The 2
    accidents I have been in weren’t my fault they were both in a
    parking garage where I come back and my car is trashed. No telling
    if it was a man or woman both times. I’m just going to guess it was
    a woman because it happened twice like some type of hate crime,
    because women are also ‘grudge master 3000s’. I can also say (knock
    on wood) I’ve never got into my own accident, but I have caught
    myself many of times driving like a complete idiot and I don’t use
    my phone on the road, because I can admittedly say I WILL crash if
    I do. And I can’t lie I do fall asleep at the wheel. Women just
    need to stop lying we’re not all good at everything.

  20. Wentorth's GravatarWentorth January 19, 2012

    On average, men drive greater distances and more frequently than
    women. We expose ourselves to higher risk as a result, but we are
    more experienced drivers for it. By and large dad drives the car.

  21. brain brave's Gravatarbrain brave January 24, 2012

    I agree and add that women are timid also.They have less decision
    power.

  22. ashmo653's Gravatarashmo653 February 9, 2012

    This is all speculations with hardly an fact, this article is a
    matter of opinion not reality. There are so many things wrong with
    what is said in this article so what I advise you all to do is to
    instead of taking this as hardcore fact, go educate yourselves with
    REAL studies of women and men. Because when you do you will find
    out that the sex differences such as spacial ability is hardly even
    a big enough sex difference to say men are better drivers. Women
    and men are fairly equal, it is just idiotic people who write
    articles like this that contribute to the sexism in our society.

  23. uoykcillli's Gravataruoykcillli March 21, 2012

    This article is absolutely ridiculous. Women are much better
    drivers. They don’t get into road rage, they use turn signals, they
    use hazard lights, don’t cut people off, don’t weave in and out of
    traffic and obey the rules of the road. Anytime someone is driving
    like a moron, 99.9% of the time it’s men.

  24. It depends on what one means by “better” driver. More cautious?
    Women. They take fewer risks. If you mean “more capable of
    controlling an automobile”, the answer is absolutely, men. Men are
    more capable drivers, but are risk takers. Women are involved in
    more accidents overall, but they are largely low speed accidents on
    city streets. Plenty of evidence has this firmly established. A
    much higher percentage of men’s accidents are attributed to drunk
    driving or reckless driving. To sum up, when men get in an
    accident, more often it is because they were purposefully pushing
    their limits and breaking the law. When women get in an accident,
    generally it is because they made a mistake in an everyday traffic
    environment (statistically women are involved in a much higher rate
    of low speed collisions), hence, their accidents are not the result
    of risk taking, but of less capability of controlling an automobile
    in everyday circumstances. It is considered politically incorrect
    to say men are better than women at anything, so in the public
    media, the question “are women or men better drivers” will always
    be skewed to mean “are men or women safer drivers”, and it is
    unlikely that men will ever take less risks in traffic, business,
    art, or any other activity than will women. So the answer, at least
    in media, will always be that women are better drivers. Anything
    else is “sexist”.

  25. Bethany's GravatarBethany July 9, 2012

    @tony In the kitchen waiting for you to make it!

  26. I kind of agree with this article, just remember guys it’s an
    average. Just because, on average, men may be better at controlling
    their vehicle then women doesn’t mean there aren’t women who are a
    ton safer than 99% of men.

  27. Thanks for proving my hypothesis. There will always be exceptions but, ON AVERAGE, the average male driver is safer than the average female driver. Perhaps cuz they drive less? I don't know why women get so uppity about it. You're better at certain things we suck at. Just realize we're different and we are on average better at certain tasks.

  28. I say this all of the time if I'm in an argument about this. Females always like to say that men are worse drivers because they are risky, or reckless drivers, but that works the other way around. Women tend to be much more careless drivers. The only difference is that sometimes being reckless can prove to be beneficial. And also, saying that men are superior drivers doesn't mean that all men drive better than all women, there are exceptions. Some men are awful behind the wheel, where as some women are great, but it tends to be more so the men who drive better.

  29. Yea women are freaking crazy drivers. I should know I’am one of
    them:D Everytime I drive I see some freaking chick with her big
    bug-eyed sunglasses with her latte and her phone in the other hand.
    Listen lady, just drive your car you don’t have to freaking swerve
    and ram into me to make your point. I get it your in a freaking
    hurry. Make way for the queen!

  30. I’m female. I passed my drivers test on the first try when I was
    sixteen. I drive an hour to work everyday on an overpopulated
    California freeway and always drive at least 5-11 mph above the
    speed limit. I’ve never been in car accident *knock on wood*. My
    car has been hit twice by people backing into it without looking in
    the parking lot (while I wasn’t even in it), and both times it was
    a male who ran into it. And before you claim I can’t park because
    of my second x chromosome, yes I was parked in between the lines.
    Male or female it doesn’t matter. There are bad drivers and there
    are good drivers. If your at fault when your car is totaled, you
    can’t blame anyone else.

  31. On a recent trip between Alabama and Illinois I observed several
    cars traveling way in excess of the speed limit and can say most of
    these were younger women. In addition these same women demonstrated
    a propensity for impatience and would often change to the right
    lane to pass only to have to brake because they were unable to
    clear the car on the left before catching the car in front(#10
    above). Not once did I observe a male driver do this but several
    times it was a young woman.

  32. Jonathan's GravatarJonathan July 22, 2013

    I think men are more risky driving in some ways, but less in
    others. Using my own parents as an example, my dad speeds much more
    than my mom, and is generally a more aggressive driver. But he
    always signals, gives plenty of distance to other cars, and is
    generally more aware of what’s going on around him. My mom will be
    totally unaware there’s a car next to her, will often forget to
    signal completely, and then just brush it off when it’s pointed out
    to her. She’s almost come into accidents more times than I can
    count. I don’t recall a single instance driving with my dad where
    an accident was imminent, unless traffic were to slow down
    dramatically and he couldn’t stop fast enough because of the speed
    he was driving.

  33. I just love all the women on here saying that this article (which has multiple citations) is sexist, just because it goes against their opinion.
    This debate is a classic example of how a statistic can say one thing while reality says another. Part of this is because most accidents involve a female and a male driver, and the male usually is at fault (the female cuts the male off because she wasnt paying attention and the male gets blamed for thr accident because he was speeding)
    There ARE exceptional female drivers out there, but they are literally the exception to the rule.
    My personal experience says otherwise. 9 times out of 10, here in NE. pennsylvania (lehigh valley region), when i have to take evasive manuvers to avoid someone not yielding, cutting me off, not signalling, tailgating, double parking, driving at night with no headlights, and generally driving carelessly, it is a woman driving. That is even scarier because I have yet to meet a woman who has good car control skills, they panic when something (such as a skid) happens, usually due to absence of basic car physics.
    It is not that women lack the capability to be good drivers, they just dont take the time to learn. Since driving to most women is a “chore”, they learn minimum competency and then stop. Men tend to continue honing his skill set as he ages, and actually improves as he gets more experience.
    While I know i will be labeled a sexist by women for my statement, sorry, but this is not my opinion, this is my experience from over 20 years of driving, in which i have had TWO accidents ( and both of them were when i was young and dumb) , I have never had an accident in inclement weather, and have never missed a day of work due to weather….despite driving through blizzards. (yet i am considered a poor driver because i have a few speeding tickets.)

  34. Yes, women tend to be focused on more things at once, which can affect concentration. Though most anyone can be a good driver if they keep their phone off and practice. It also helps if you actually enjoy it. As far as my personal experience goes, all the women in my family are calm and rational and tend not to panic, and most of the men fly off the handle and my brother experiences severe road rage. I’m simply not going to assume that somebody’s a good or bad driver based on their gender until I actually see them drive.

  35. I Agree It’s NOT Sexist. Just Because Statistics Show Men Are Superior Drivers Don’t Mean Anything. Females Calm Down Please. You’re Better Than Men @ Plenty Of Other Things

  36. Bush Pilot's GravatarBush Pilot February 11, 2016

    It seems that people here are confusing safe driving with skilled driving. I am a male driver and I agree that women are safer drivers. They take less risks and drive more carefully then most men. Men tend to have more road rage issues, and they engage in dangerous driving practices such as road racing and risky maneuvers in traffic. This is the reason women pay less for car insurance than men.
    The word “better” is a very subjective word. Let’s be more specific. Women are safer drivers. However, men are more skilled drivers then women. Almost all race car drivers, truck drivers, and rescue drivers are men. This also applies to aviation. Men have better spatial awareness and can more accurately judge distance, speed, and position awareness.
    When it comes to driving, the word better simply means safer. What we should be talking about is who is more skilled… Men or women? Well… If you want safety, which is obviously very important because we all want to stay alive, women fit the bill. But, if you want to perform dangerous maneuvers such as racing, drifting, and difficult navigation, it is better to have a man in the driver’s seat.
    This is not a sexist view, but rather a simple exclamation of what insurance companies considered to be better. It is true that women are better than men at many things, and men are better than women at other things. We are simply different… Emotionally, mentally, and physically. This does not mean that men are better at everything. There are many things that women can do that men cannot, and there are things that men can do that women cannot. We are simply differently abled, in that does not make one sex better than the other. We are equal in most things, and that is the most important thing to remember.

  37. I found the comments better to read than the article 😂 P.s. Sarah, you sort of admired to speeding 15k’s over the limit every day to work. And then went on to call Yourself a safe driver…… Right……

  38. @Bush Pilot Yeah, like making babies, sandwhiches and excuses!

  39. The Honest Truth's GravatarThe Honest Truth February 27, 2017

    Most women are very horrible drivers that is why especially the ones that like to speed and tailgate that really need to get off the road.

  40. Men pay MORE for vehicle insurance due the the fact they are, in general, worse drivers than women. $$$ doesn’t lie. If women were worse, they would pay more. Insurance companies know this as a fact and will compensate themselves accordingly.

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