Monday, September 22, 2008

9-22-08: Driving and Gender, the Myth

I was driving back from lunch today and thought of something that I've been formulating for some time. It's about how a lot of men think that men, as a whole, are better drivers than women. I think this is quite misleading, and hope this is taken more as an observation of one driver and not a sexist argument. In fact, it's hardly sexist, since I don't agree with the philosophy.

I think, more than anything, age is a factor. Let's take into account driving style and/or the types of mistakes any given driving group has or makes. From my experience, the most dangerous drivers on the road are teenagers and the elderly, in a general sense. There are definitely safe drivers in both age categories, but there seems to be a bit higher concentration of bad drivers in those groups.

But what makes a driver a bad driver is also up in the air. Safe driving is often defined as the simple act of not getting in an accident. That's quite misleading. You can go your whole life and not be in an accident, but it doesn't mean you didn't make any mistakes that led to other accidents. Or, you could be a great driver and still get into an accident with an unsafe driver. Accidents simply happen and there are plenty of factors that are out of your control.

But there are bad drivers out there. And, I can't really see any set of driving habits that are exclusive to either gender. Sure, it would seem that more men are aggressive drivers, but I've seen plenty of women drive the same way. I've also seen a great number of "no turn signal necessary" drivers, and a ton of "I just want to get one car length ahead and will risk everything to get there" drivers among both genders. So, from my experience (I'm a 23 year old male that has driven considerably more than most people my age), I'd say there isn't a set methodology to accurately state one gender is better at driving than the other.

No comments: