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Boys vs Girls: Who Drives Better?

Sacramento drivers are the same as many others. We tease each other with that age old dilemma of which gender drives best. It is mostly tongue in cheek fun but is there any truth to it? Does one sex drive better than the other? Is it all based on anecdotal evidence and stereotypes or is there any real data to fall back on?

The University of Michigan conducted specialized tests to see if there is any evidence one gender drives better than the other. They compiled and studied years of data involving two car collisions that occurred between 1988 and 2007. The accidents they studied included instances where one car turned in front of the other, head-on collisions and sideswipes.

Researchers first noted the gender pairings in each sort of accident. They recorded if pairings were male/make, female/male or female/female. Finally, they focused on six types of accident situations and three types of gender pairing. 

It was decided that the likelihood of any type of driver to be involved in a two car collision depends on three main factors. The most determining factors are the driving skills of both drivers and the possibility of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The study began with the assumption that both genders drive with equal skill and the probability of accidents rises with the amount of miles driven each year. Men account for more driving miles per year. This fact alone was enough to make a logical assumption that men would be involved in more accidents per year. Not so, according to researchers.

Female/female driver pairs were over-represented in five of six crash situations. Two of the scenarios showed female/female accidents were over-represented by as much as 50% and two others showed a surplus in excess of 25%

Researchers did not find this evidence conclusive enough to make a clear decision on which gender has the best driving skills. They found only definite evidence that in some cases females have more car wreck incidents than males. 

They explain the differences in results by differential gender factors like exposure to specific crash scenarios and drivers capabilities to handle them as well as the expectations of other driver’s actions.

Male and female drivers can both lower the rate of accidents by observing the common road rules. Obeying the speed limit is an easy way to save money on car accident bills and insurance rates. Making sure to keep a regular maintenance schedule on your vehicle is another way to lower accident risks.

While this study does show that women have a higher risk of accidents in specific situations it does not prove this fact overall. Many factors can easily change these tentative figures.  As a rule, car accidents can happen to anyone at any time. Negligent drivers, Mother Nature and bad luck are always at play.   

Car accidents involving any gender can be devastating financially and physically. Take precautions, drive safely to avoid accidents, medical bills and lost wages.