Women Are Bad Drivers – Fact or Fiction?

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If I had a dollar for every time I heard a man say “women suck at driving” or “women can’t drive,” I’d be a rich man. To be honest, I, as a man, am also guilty of this type of stereotyping. And as I sit back and think of the comments I’ve made before in the past, I start to think – Where on earth did this stereotype come from? Is there even any basis for it? Or have us males been poking fun at females for no reason whatsoever?

Women Drivers

Men have been talking about how bad women are at driving for years. But is what they are saying even true? Or have women been getting a bad rap?

I decided to do a little research on female driving statistics to make sure my thoughts were not completely off-base. After compiling some information and getting a better idea of what I was talking about, all I can say is – “Boy was I ignorant!”

Male And Female Driving Statistics

Let’s take a look at what I found:

  • Men get in more accidents than women. According to a New York City traffic study, 80% of all auto accidents that kill or seriously injure pedestrians involve male drivers. According to a study by Quality Planning, an insurance statistics company, female drivers were also 27% less likely to be found at fault when involved in an accident. These statistics tend to hold true no matter where you look. According to the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, men were involved in 6.1 million accidents (40,000 were fatal) in 2007. By comparison, women were only involved in 4.4 million (14,000 were fatal).
  • Men get more traffic violations than women. In pretty much every category of traffic violations there are, men seem to dominate women (and that isn’t a good thing). Men are more likely than women to get cited for reckless driving (3.41 to 1 ratio), driving under the influence (3.09 to 1 ratio), seat belt violations (3.08 to 1 ratio), speeding (1.75 to 1 ratio), failure to yield (1.54 to 1 ratio), and stop signal violations (1.53 to 1 ratio).
  • Men get more DUIs than women. A DUI violation is one of those few “no-no’s” for your driving record. No matter what, you should avoid getting a DUI at all costs. It’s like a permanent stain on your transcript that takes years to wash away. Nevertheless, men still outnumber women by a long shot when it comes to DUIs. In keeping tune with the 3.08 to 1 ratio mentioned above, on 2007, 626,371 DUIs were issued to men in the United States. Women drivers were only issued 162,493.

Women Are Safer Drivers, So What?

The statistics are pretty clear and straight forward – women are safer drivers than men. But why is this? Experts say that men are more aggressive behind the wheel. They are more likely to take risks, and therefore, more likely to make mistakes. Many believe this is because of higher testosterone levels. This higher likelihood to take risks, fueled by testosterone, also might be the reason why men are statistically more likely to drive under the influence, not wear a seat-belt, and speed.

You best believe the insurance companies have taken notice of these statistics. Because of this, insurance prices tend to be cheaper for women than they are for men. Think of it almost like an award to women for being safer drivers. You drive safe, you get cheaper insurance. It’s as simple as that.

But how much cheaper is insurance for women? According to InsWeb, the average cost for a six month policy in the United States is $698 for women and $765 for men. In some states, the price difference between men and women is well over $100!

Take a look at the average prices state-by-state:

State Median Rate: Women Median Rate: Men % Difference Ranking
Wyoming $495 $621 20.3% 1
Washington D.C. $791 $942 16.0% 2
South Dakota $578 $687 15.9% 3
Arkansas $585 $680 14.0% 4
Idaho $458 $532 14.0% 5
Alaska $775 $896 13.5% 6
Mississippi $775 $869 13.2% 7
Louisiana $1164 $1314 11.4% 8
Minnesota $532 $594 10.4% 9
California $816 $910 10.3% 10
Maine $472 $526 10.2% 11
Nebraska $527 $587 10.2% 12
Georgia $778 $862 9.7% 13
Tennessee $565 $625 9.6% 14
Washington $596 $659 9.6% 15
Texas $722 $799 9.6% 16
New York $1013 $1119 9.5% 17
South Carolina $583 $644 9.4% 18
Florida $798 $879 9.2% 19
Alabama $646 $711 9.2% 20
New Hampshire $561 $617 9.1% 21
Delaware $736 $807 8.8% 22
Ohio $537 $587 8.5% 23
Illinois $674 $737 8.5% 24
Arizona $861 $937 8.1% 25
North Carolina $477 $519 8.1% 26
Oregon $563 $612 8.0% 27
Kansas $608 $661 8.0% 28
Kentucky $725 $787 7.8% 29
Virginia $557 $604 7.8% 30
Colorado $770 $832 7.5% 31
Vermont $501 $541 7.4% 32
Missouri $705 $759 7.2% 33
New Mexico $735 $790 7.1% 34
Connecticut $862 $927 7.0% 35
Rhode Island $866 $931 7.0% 36
Utah $550 $591 6.9% 37
Pennsylvania $574 $615 6.7% 38
Wisconsin $551 $590 6.7% 39
Indiana $560 $595 5.9% 40
West Virginia $676 $716 5.7% 41
Oklahoma $801 $842 4.9% 42
Maryland $854 $897 4.7% 43
North Dakota $525 $550 4.5% 44
New Jersey $699 $732 4.9% 45
Massachusetts $498 $519 4.1% 46
Nevada $886 $912 2.9% 47
Michigan $720 $741 2.8% 48
Hawaii $599 $607 1.3% 49
Montana $690 $698 1.1% 50
Iowa $544 $533 -1.9% 51

Sigh… One of the tough things about being a man is swallowing your pride and admitting when you are wrong. Looks like my days of insulting women drivers are over. Insurance and traffic related statistics from all over the country have proved me wrong and have proven one thing right – Women are better drivers than men!

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