Saturday 18 November 2017

Men are best at tests - but riskier on roads

Women have a far better attitude when it comes to driving

According to new figures, more than 230,000 penalty points were endorsed on Irish licences in 2014.
According to new figures, more than 230,000 penalty points were endorsed on Irish licences in 2014.
Claire Mc Cormack

Claire Mc Cormack

MEN are better than women at passing the driving test - but are far more dangerous on the roads, new figures reveal.

They also have more crashes, get more penalty points on their licences and are more likely to get caught for drink driving.

From 2010 to 2013, driving test pass rates among men averaged around 54pc, while the pass rate among women peaked at around 48pc.

But male licences received almost 40pc more penalty points than female licences in 2014, new figures from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport show.

Karl Walsh, director of the Irish School of Motoring (ISM), says test-day jitters are to blame.

"On the day of the test women get more nervous than men and they over-analyse and over-think," he said.

"I'm not saying that men don't prepare, but men tend to have this easy-come easy-go attitude towards the test and sometimes that is to their benefit.

"If you're over analysing and over thinking it, well it could impede the standard of your driving during the exam situation," he told the Sunday Independent.

Based on ISM's experience, men and women drivers think and act differently.

Generally speaking, their women learners are more conscientious about learning, and statistically women do more driving lessons than men every year.

"Women actually put more effort into it and they are more diligent," he said, adding "I know from speaking to a lot of our instructors that women are actually easier to teach than men."

"Men sometimes can be a little bit more flippant and almost think they know it all, but women never have that attitude," he said.

According to the new figures from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport more than 230,000 penalty points were endorsed on Irish licences in 2014.

Around 123,000 were officially stamped on to male licenses, while an estimated 73,000 were authorised on female licences. A further 37,000 penalty point endorsements were "not specified".

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "That is the total number of penalty points given to male and female drivers, but the number of incidents could be much lower as one driver can get up to 12 points".

Meanwhile, according to new figures from the Gardai Siochana there were 7,605 people arrested in Ireland on suspicion of driving under the influence in 2014.

"Approximately 85pc of these were male and 15pc were female," a Garda spokesman told the Sunday Independent.

Every year around 130,000 driving tests are conducted throughout the country, however the driving test format has not changed in over 50 years.

Mr Walsh of ISM says: "The driving test hasn't changed since 1964 and it does not prepare people for life-time driving at all. It needs to be radically overhauled."

Although the Road Safety Authority regularly update laws and every learner must now lodge a minimum of 12 lessons, Mr Walsh argues that "a driving test should be introduced every 10 years".

"Roads change, rules change and vehicles change and every driver's skills should be updated."

Sunday Independent

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