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Who Drives Better?

picture of drivers

In today's post I am neither trying to claim nor to prove that one gender is definitely better at driving than the other. Why not? Not only because that's the safest position for a blogger whose goal is mainly to provide humor enjoyed by both his male and his female readers, but also because statistics do not always tell the whole story and are, hence, not totally conclusive.

I did a lot of reading online in preparation for this post. I read articles on this topic on news sites, insurance company sites, and more. Statistics (sadistics?) seem to show that woman are safer drivers than men. I did read, however, that that picture is changing. Officials are finding that young women drivers are becoming increasingly aggressive behind the wheel. One article I read stated

Plus, it seems as if female motorists are getting more aggressive. "It's true that men do take more risks than women," says Carolyn Gorman, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. "However, [women] are partaking in more risky behaviors than ever before. The gap is closing quickly."

picture of wild woman driver

Though hardly scientific or conclusive, if my rear-view mirror is any indication, I am tailgated by far more young women than by any other type of driver. And judging from the speeders who whiz past me, the gender gap there is narrow at best. Hence, the humor in this next picture may now be outdated.

picture of male female speed limit sign

One article on the MSNBC site stated

That age-old stereotype about dangerous women drivers is shattered in a big new traffic analysis: Male drivers have a 77 percent higher risk of dying in a car accident than women, based on miles driven."

But then other articles I read seem to indicate that, in comparison, men drive many more miles per capita than women do, putting the validity of that 77% statistic into question. The jury is still out, and societal norms are changing constantly as women take on jobs long held by men — jobs that involve lots of time behind the wheel.

Setting all that heavy stuff aside, though, let's move on to the lighter portion of this post! πŸ™‚

With Valentine's Day just a week away, I thought I'd do at least one post this week on men and women. I have done plenty of posts that poke fun at men for their risky behavior — here and here, for example. And so I hope my female readers will be good sports as we have a few laughs their expense in this post.

Here are some predicaments that women drivers have gotten themselves into, many with no comment from me necessary.

Today's women are driving more than just cars, but that only complicates some things more.

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

This next one is a woman's car in the entrance to the MΓ©tro (subway) in Paris.

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

picture of woman driver incident

This woman apparently wants to look her best with those first responders arrive.

picture of woman driver incident

There's always driving school....

picture of woman in driving school


"We are all at crossroads all the time." — Eric Newton

=^..^= =^..^=

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to edge his car onto a freeway.

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8 Comments on “Who Drives Better?”

  1. #1 Peter
    on Feb 7th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Funny πŸ™‚ I’m actually really proud of the only female driver in our family, my wife. She learned to drive standard this past year, thanks to her Aunt Pearl’s very good instruction. I tried to give her a few lessons too, but it was her Aunt’s time that really made the difference. Now, when I’m seated in the front passenger seat, I sometimes get a smile on my face as my wife accelerates smoothly through the gears – I tell her the next step is Porsche driving school πŸ˜‰

    Rob adds: That’s great, Peter! I made all my children learn to drive standard. The one who really didn’t want to learn it is the one whose current car is stick shift. (Dad smiles….) πŸ˜€

  2. #2 Karen M.
    on Feb 7th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for the really hilarious pics! I can’t weigh in on who is better…men or women? I’ll just weigh in on the drivers in Wisconsin. Ooooo…. not so good most of the time. πŸ˜‰

    Rob adds: I wonder who is worse — Wisconsin drivers or South Carolina drivers….

  3. #3 JohnMatzko
    on Feb 7th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Slightly off topic, but some years ago I read an article that claimed that drivers over 85 were as dangerous as 16-year-olds. The accompanying graph illustrated “passenger vehicle driver deaths.” While it’s true that more drivers over 75 die in car crashes than 16-year-old drivers, younger drivers are far more lethal to passengers, people in other cars, pedestrians, and cyclists. The kids drive at wild speeds with a car full of friends. Grandpa just glides into a telephone pole by himself.

    Rob adds: As I read up for this blog post, I read things like you posted, John. There’s the recklessness factor with young drivers, for sure. I almost called this post “Who is More (W)Reckless?”

  4. #4 Kathleen
    on Feb 7th, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I don’t know if it’s the same in the States, but insurance is higher in the UK for men than for women. My dad’s take on it is that women aren’t necessarily safer drivers, but a higher percentage of guys are idiots.

    And I think it’s worth noting that the average attempts to pass the (notoriously picky) driving test for females in our family is 33% lower than average attempts for males (assuming you discount those who had been driving in the US before taking a test here).

    Rob adds: Thanks for your comment, Kathleen. Insurance rates are higher for unmarried men under the age of 25. I think they consider themselves invulnerable, and hence they take greater risks. I like your dad’s way of phrasing the same thing. πŸ™‚

  5. #5 Laura
    on Feb 9th, 2011 at 4:20 am

    I drove over a big rock once. It was in a snowstorm and I couldn’t see where the road began or ended. Snowploughs had a lot of work that night. Luckily I didn’t get stuck on it as in one of the photos above.

    Rob adds: Driving in snow and ice changes everything, Laura. We lived in Ohio and Michigan until we were in our early 30’s and saw plenty of winter weather. The hazards that are hidden by ice and especially snow are innumerable, and there were plenty of mishaps as a result.

  6. #6 Laura
    on Feb 9th, 2011 at 8:38 am

    Laura’s comment above reminded me of an incident when I was learning to drive. One of the things that distressed me as a student driver was never knowing where the tires were on the road, since I couldn’t see them. One day, we were on our way to church on a road that wound its way through a state park when I saw a dead porcupine in the road. I was *certain* that I would hit the prickly remains and swerved to miss . . . my dad was understandably upset when I nailed it squarely with the front tire. Oops. I took awhile to repair that flat!

    My husband has kept “spot” mirrors on both side mirrors on all our vehicles. It really helps me to see, not only for backing up long vehicles like our van, but also for noting where I am in relation to the lines on the road. It makes for a lot fewer pothole bangups, and I am *sure* I won’t hit any more dead porcupines!

    Rob adds: Loved it, Laura! πŸ˜€

  7. #7 Vikki
    on Feb 9th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    We too made sure all of our kids knew how to drive a stick when they were teens. We always had a “kid” car for them and it usually was a stick, so they had no choice.

    Rob adds: That’s neat to hear, Vikki. *My* car was usually the “kid car” when our kids were learning to drive, and that was usually one with stick shift.

  8. #8 Andrea
    on Feb 9th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I nailed a turtle the same way Laura got the porcupine, but thankfully no flat!

    Rob adds: Did the turtle survive the encounter? πŸ˜€