It is a much-quoted fact that women are better drivers than men. Insurance providers recognise this with cheaper premiums for women. There are even companies like Sheila’s Wheels that only cater for women. The statistics confirm the fact that women are involved in fewer serious accidents than men. So what is it about women that makes them better drivers?
They have better brains for driving
Sorry guys, women have better brains for driving. I’ll explain why with this simple example. When a girl enters a party she will notice that her best friend is not happy, that’s Ken and Sally have had an argument and that there is not enough food for the number of people that turned up; all of this within 30 seconds. The man on the other hand will still be looking for his mates. Women’s brains have much more capacity to take in and process diverse information than do men’s.
What about Formula 1?
Many men argue that it is all men in F1 and this proves that men are better drivers. However, this is more a function of the number of males versus females entering competitive racing at the grassroots level. The ratio is close to 100 to 1. There are several female race-car drivers that are emerging in the sport. However, it will take a dramatic change in the culture of the sport at the grassroots for the ratio in F1 to reflect the psychology. Indeed, psychologists assess that women would be better at F1 than men if it was a level playing ground.
Women Cannot Park
Another thing that men say is that women cannot park. Psychologically women are perhaps, on average, less attuned to the task of maneuvering the vehicle. Female spatial awareness can be inferior to men’s. This may be an area in which men are better than women. However, it is a skill and women can improve as they have the capacity to do so with experience. And anyway this is only a small portion of driving.
Women Drive Defensively
On the roads women are statistically safer than men. Their ability to take in and process information outlined above is only part the reason for this. Women tend to drive more defensively and not break the speed limit as much. They get themselves into fewer situations of danger and have more control over their driving behavior. As age increases the disparity between men and women on this gets smaller. It is no surprise that the most dangerous, worst drivers are young men. That is why it costs them so much to insure their first car.
Research demonstrates that in cars we are in our own little world. The protective bubble around us forms an extension all our personality and self. A lot of research on road rage has looked at this phenomenon. Men tend to be more aggressive than women and so it makes sense that when cocooned within the cockpit they will display more aggressive behavior. Women are therefore naturally less inclined to become dangerous drivers than men on this front too.
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So there you have it the main reasons women are better drivers than men. I know this is going to spark a lot of debate but let’s keep it constructive. Who knows any research that demonstrates that men are actually better than women at driving? Love to hear it…