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Monday, July 5th, 2010

Who Drives safer and more carefully behind the wheel,..A Man or A Woman? The answer: it depends on each individual, but overall findings don’t speak well for the guys…It appears you’re better off with a woman behind the wheel.professional-man-and-woman

A series of articles published recently in the  NY Times support that men are more likely to ignore traffic laws and loose emotional control.

  • Men are three times more likely to honk their horns.
  • More likely to “rudely gesture at or verbally abuse other drivers. and
  • More likely to be involved in tragic, massive accidents (on the road and off).

Wow! It sure looks like we the guys need that Toyota  with the Star Safety System and maybe more. This may turn out to be a surprise for some. The data shows that the reason why men tend to break the rules more is an ingrained sense of biology, reaching back to early concepts of male and female roles. The male brain, hard wired to hunt and kill, favored the bold and the brave. The Times piece goes on:

Research data state these behaviors are deeply ingrained. Researchers Leda Cosmides and John Tooby describe our prior existence as “a camping trip that lasted an entire lifetime, and this way of life endured for most of the last 10 million years.” In comparison, the auto arrived a blink of an eye ago, and we have not had time to evolve a new set of behaviors for coping safely behind the wheel. Gee, I didn’t realize I was so closely connected to the caveman…

Today, men are found to drive faster overall, ignore traffic laws more often, take more (and greater) risks and are involved in the majority of fatal crashes around the globe. The data in the Times articles bear this out, although some of the research cited dates as far back as 1986.  

Anecdotal evidence is readily available for both sides. There are a lot of men who will say when they are behind the wheel that their wives are typical critical back seat drivers. On the other hand and on a personal note I recently got a speeding ticket for going 30 mph in a 25 mph zone that was soon after disregarded by the police officer. But when I announced at home that I had gotten a ticket, everyone in the family replied in unison, “What For? Going Too Slow?”…  

Some data shows that there is a  preference for female drivers when taking cabs, car services and airport shuttles.

“Women cab drivers aren’t going to hit on me and they pay attention,” says one female business executive. “In cabs, male drivers are eating or are on the phone a lot of the time. I’m 100 times happier with a woman.”

The good news carries with it no inherent sexual battle, however. According to institutional data, deaths have gone down among both male and female passengers as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.