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Battle Of The Sexes Rages On: Report Says Women Drive Better Than Men

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Battle Of The Sexes Rages On: Report Says Women Drive Better Than Men

By Richard Read

Reporter

August 5th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, we stumbled across a British report that said 20% of men are terrified to ride in a car when a woman is behind the wheel. Today, the tit-for-tat continues with a new study -- also from the U.K. -- showing that those men are crazy: women are far more competent drivers than their XY-chromosomed counterparts. Well, at least during the summer months.

The new report comes from Sheila's Wheels, a British auto insurance agency that bears the tagline "Insurance designed with women in mind!" (exclamation mark included). According to the company-sponsored survey, 45% of men say that the summer heat affects their driving habits, with 21% prone to road rage and/or aggressive driving. Roughly 25% of the men surveyed said that they'd had a summertime crash or near-miss, while just 17% of women said the same.

But it's not the heat alone that turns normal guys into wild-eyed road warriors: it's also due to a spike in libido. Cole Porter may have thought summer was too darn hot for hanky-panky, but according to the Sheila's Wheels survey, 29% of male drivers admit to being distracted by the skimpier outfits women wear in warmer months. And the number of women who said they're distracted by men's summer attire? A dismal 3%. (Yet another reason to ditch the cargo shorts.)

According to behavioral psychologist Donna Dawson, the gents' hormones are to blame: "Testosterone also plays a part as it makes men more prone to aggression, especially when frustrated by a confined space such as a car -- and men are quicker than women to expose such irritability in hot weather." All told, Sheila's Wheels says this helps explain why men make 16.4% more insurance claims during the summer months.

Sadly, we're not given unfettered access to the survey data -- which would be nice, because the bits that Sheila's Wheels has shared raise a lot of intriguing questions. For example: how many women say they're affected by the heat? How many drive more aggressively? And most importantly, how do these figures change when there's a nip in the air?

At first glance, this new survey might seem slightly more scientific than the previous one, which was carried out by OnePoll.com -- sort of a social network for people who like taking polls. But Sheila's Wheels used a firm called Opinium Research, which is...well, another place for folks who enjoy being polled. (Must be a British thing.) Neither sounds like it cuts the mustard in scientific terms.

Vive la difference. Let's call it a tie.

link:

http://www.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1047986_battle-of-the-sexes-rages-on-report-says-women-drive-better-than-men

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Not to sound too sexist, but women, for the most part from what I have experienced, are awful drivers with little regard for their own automobile let alone the ones around them.

I will say my mom is a pretty good driver, and my gf ain't bad either (and she can drive a stick...pretty well I might add ;)....so I have her chauffeur me around in my car frequently).

But have these studies ever considered that the reason they may see statistics that show men are more prone to driving issues is because men most likely drive significantly more than women? I thought I remember reading a study a while back showing on average men drive longer distances and spend much more time in a car daily than women (something like 3x the amount). I've read that men are much more likely to drive longer distances for work, and just that drive to work alone can really sway the results especially when you consider the amount of women who choose to stay at home and run the household, with their longest daily commute being maybe a few miles away to go to the store, or pick up the kids from soccer practice.

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Many more studies have proven that men are, in general, better at spatial reasoning than women. Of course, my first thought was "Of course the men reported more near-misses...the women were probably oblivious to the whole $h!show they almost caused!"

But seriously, in my not-so-scientific personal experience, the worst drivers in Los Angeles are:

1. Adult Asian women - "unpredictability," swerving, lack of signals, just spastic behavior

2. Elderly Asians - not adhering to basic speed law, not signaling, pulling out suddenly then driving slowly, etc.

3. Older (illegal?) Hispanics - way too f@#king slow, not making right turns at the curb, no signals, leaving turn signals on, abruptly changing lanes when NOT clear after failing to change lanes with signal on and totally clear for a quarter mile, left lane 55 in a 65 zone, not familiar with how stop signs work, etc.

4. Ricer boys - just reckless

5. Westsiders - driving reflects attitude of no giving a $h! about anyone/thing other than themselves and their spotless paint job.

Edited by Croc

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Oh wait. This report is from the United Kingdom. The only thing we should ever consider taking seriously from that country is Top Gear and even still, that point can be rendered somewhat moot.

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I'm going to have to side with Nick here. Most girls I have been friends with or dated were nerve-wracking drivers. Poor spatial judgement, poor ability to stay centered in the road, easily distracted, braking at the last second...endless white knuckle moments. My girlfriend is ok, but I have noticed that she comes up on vehicles a little too quickly when braking and also has a hard time judging the distance of the vehicle ahead.

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Don't get me wrong, I see plenty of lousy women drivers out there daily. But for the most part, the women in my life have been very good drivers. I basically learned how to drive by watching my parents... which was something like 80% mom and 20% dad. Sure, she has made mistakes... but, I think maybe 5% of the ones I've made. My sister is also a very good driver. Both my mother and sister are very attuned to their cars... granted, they don't know exactly how a tranny works, but they can drive stick, and understand driving dynamics. And are very attached to their cars... damaging one by being careless is the last thing they want to do.

My sister about 2 years ago was driving the Sunfire and a inattentive driver in a larger car smacked her rear quarter panel at 65 mph... essentially doing a pit maneuver on her. Instead of plowing off road or hitting a barrier... she corrected and managed to stop the car with a minimum of damage. When I showed up to drive the car home, I was astonished by the skid marks that she was able to keep the car outta the trees.

My GF had a similar incident when she got caught in a large puddle at speed... the car hydroplaned on one side, got sideways and she corrected, hit another patch of water, recorrected and got control of the car back without falling below 45 mph... needless to say, the car got new tires the next week. I experienced that first hand... and was impressed. She also suffered a rear ender (hit and run) at 65+ that knocked the car somewhat sideways in very crowded traffic on the BQE, and managed to keep a bad situation from becoming a majorly bad situation...

I also taught two old friends of mine how to drive... and even though both are somewhat aggressive, speedy drivers neither has had an accident. And I always felt comfortable riding as passenger with any of these women. They know whats going on and keep aware.

OTOH, I've driven with more men that are inattentive and quick to bite off more than they could chew. One guy I drove with (once) couldn't listen and drive... I was talking about computers and he ended up running his new RX7 into about 3 curbs before I realized it was best to save convo until the ride was over. And old male friend used to use his brakes like and on/off switch. EVERY stop was a panic stop... and right on the bumper of the guy in front of us. IIRC, he ended up rear ending like 4-5 people before his Ford Probe expired and his parents bought him something else.

So in my universe, women seem the better drivers. In the rest of the world, everyone sucks. ;-)

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Ones who drive either red Mk IIIs or New Jersey Mk IVs? ;)

I admit I drive a little wilder in the summer, but it ain't because of women's outfits.

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Ones who drive either red Mk IIIs or New Jersey Mk IVs? ;)

I admit I drive a little wilder in the summer, but it ain't because of women's outfits.

Ones who drive last generation Malibus... and Neons. Oh god, those Neon driving gays. The absolute worst!

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"tit-for-tat"

that damn Tat is always a lucky guy.

or girl, whatever.......

teenage girl with cell phone, um, yeah that's a good combination on the roads. Be thankful none of them drive sticks anymore.

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