A EUROPEAN court ruling that has led to big increases in car insurance rates for some women drivers makes a mockery of statistics that consistently show that young male motorists are much more reckless behind the wheel, according to a study.
Since last month, when the European Court of Justice's Gender Equalisation ruling came into effect, car insurance premiums for young female drivers have risen by an average of close to 25pc.
Yet a new gender-based analysis of driving habits of Irish drivers conducted between September 2008 and December 2012 by AA Ireland reveals that male drivers are much more likely to speed, drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and act aggressively on the roads than women.
"The gender equalisation ruling has sparked plenty of debate, with many young male drivers feeling that they are finally being treated fairly," said AA Ireland's Conor Faughnan.
"The simple fact remains, however, that they are the group most likely to crash."
The 'Gender Analysis of Ireland's Drivers' report found that more than 40pc of the male respondents polled still drink and drive while 71pc of female drivers said they would refrain completely from drink driving.
Others findings show:
• Male drivers are twice as likely as their female counterparts to drive dangerously fast.
• 47pc of male drivers and just over a third of female drivers (34pc) said they had a near-miss at a roundabout in the past three years.
• Both men (55pc) and women (53pc) admitted to talking on a handheld phone while driving.
• 28pc of male drivers admitted to a collision or near-miss while looking at an attractive ped- estrian or cyclist compared to just 2pc of women drivers.