Motoring

Tuesday 29 July 2014

It isn't as simple as saying women are better drivers

We've had a huge response – from as far away as New Zealand – to last week's piece on Men v Women drivers. Here are some. Eddie,

Eddie Cunningham

Published 23/04/2014|02:30

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I really wish journalists and others would stop using hunter-gatherer arguments to excuse modern behaviours. The argument that men took risks because they may have spent a small portion of their week hunting in large organised groups is nonsense, especially when you liken that to poor driving habits. Maybe men are just bad drivers. End of. Don't glorify it.

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Kelli Malone,

Lecturer in Anthropology

EDDIE

I read the article on who is the better driver, men or women, with interest on my iPad in New Zealand.

I don't disagree with the conclusions necessarily, but as a scientist I believe the research needs to be undertaken correctly, and it is for that reason I pen a quick email.

The results are biased in the fact that when a man and a woman are together in the car, the man is driving in the overwhelming majority of cases. This increases his risk of being caught for speeding or drink driving.

The driving test results answer your question. The fact that women are better in the written theory, but men are more likely to pass the test, prove greater driving competency in the latter (control of a car). However, men are cavalier when it comes to risk, are likely to travel at greater speed and, as this increases the risk of accidents and, in particular, serious accidents, they are more likely to have accidents. This does not reflect their driving ability – it reflects their attitude to risk.

So, I don't disagree with the conclusions about the lower risk when women drive – insurance companies have been making this decision for decades. However, if you're going to dress the article up as scientifically valid by presenting statistics, I think the bias in 'random sample' needs to be accounted for.

John Roche PhD,

MD Down to Earth Advice Ltd

EDDIE,

In quoting percentages of accidents etc for which men are responsible, you have neglected one important piece of information. What percentage of road users are men and what percentage are women?

If two-thirds of drivers are men, then statistically it makes sense that two-thirds of penalty points will be handed out to men.

Do men start driving at a younger age? Do you have any facts regarding couples in relationships and their driving habits? Is the man or woman more likely to do the driving when travelling together?

This is not a sexist remark in anyway; simply an observation. In 10 years working in the retail industry I have only ever met one female truck driver. Similarly, I can only recall ever meeting one female bus driver. Female taxi drivers seem equally as scarce.

So the facts in your article are worthless without more information regarding the number of miles men drive compared with the number of miles women drive in order to put your facts into context.

Indo Motoring

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