Dealing with the issue of women and their hormones  is always a complicated and touchy thing to do. It is a difficult subject about which to make generalisations. And yet, when we come to talk about driving, it makes sense that safety should always be paramount, even if that means that some people get a little offended about the rules. Addressing the question of whether or not women should be allowed to drive on bad hormone days is a particularly difficult subject though.

Why Not?

During her monthly cycle a woman's hormone levels change. It's no secret that for a week or so before her period starts a woman is likely to go through PMS (premenstrual syndrome), and will be more emotional, more easily angered, and more likely to make rash decisions than at other times of the month. In fact, one of the reasons it took women so long to be allowed to face active service in the military was because the military bureaucracy was worried about how PMS would affect a woman's ability to handle stress in the line of duty.

Yes, driving when you're highly emotional (whatever that emotion is) is probably dangerous, and should be avoided as far as possible. But imposing a blanket ban on women driving when they're pre-menstrual is practically impossible.

How to Enforce it?

The initial problem with this is that it is quite unenforcable. Short of getting every woman to pass a hormone test before she gets in the car, how will you know what her hormone levels are? In fact, there are many women who don't know what their hormone levels are, and who don't suffer from any form of PMS at all.

We could have random hormone tests, in the same way that we have random alcohol tests, but this doesn't really solve the problem. There's a big difference between arresting someone who knows that he's had five beers and got into his car, and arresting a woman who's a couple of points over the hormone limit and had absolutely no idea about it.

Who Should it Be?

Then there comes the point that there are many women who don't suffer from PMS. Some women just handle things better, and don't get irrational or emotional when their hormone levels spike. On the other hand, there are women that continue to suffer the emotional highs and lows of hormones long after menopause. Then again, there are women who don't have periods, either through sickness, hysterectomies or because of the kind of birth control that they use.

Imposing bans on women drivers would effect all of these women too, which can hardly be fair. And speaking of fairness, what about men? Alright, men don't suffer PMS, but there are men who either naturally or through the use of steroid drugs have high levels of testosterone and are therefore more combative and more likely to suffer from road rage. Do we ban them too?

In Conclusion

There is a case to be argued for women not driving when they're under the influence of hormones. However, there's also a case to be argued for people, both men and women, not driving when they're in a state of heightened emotion. Enforcing laws like this, about something that is relatively subjective, is incredibly difficult though, and quite impractical.

Should women drive on bad hormone days? Probably not. But that has to be a personal decision. The fact is that no one should drive unless they are calm and thinking rationally and it really comes down to self-awareness, yet all of us, men and women alike, have driven while not being emotionally stable.