The female of the species is more speedy than the male

Woman driving a car
 
Women are not only the fairer sex, but also the faster sex – at least when they are behind the wheel of a rental car. A nationwide study of driving habits in rental cars has discovered that female customers exceed the speed limit 17.5% more often than men. If that weren’t enough to destroy your gender stereotype, women are not only quicker, they’re also safer – according to the statistics, anyway: males are five times more likely to cause damage to a rental car than female motorists.

Dented pride

In the study carried out by In-Car Cleverness, a company that provides telematics technology, 84% of the cars returned with dents, scratches and punctures had been rented by male motorists. Honestly, men drivers! So careless! Telematics, in case you’re wondering, is a big deal in the insurance industry. It’s basically the little black box that uses satellite communications to record when, where and how you drive so that insurers can more accurately set premiums, rewarding the safe and penalizing the reckless. In-Car Cleverness monitored more than 10,000 rental vehicles over a six-month period to compile the stats, so it’s certainly thorough, even if it does disappoint some of the more macho of the male population.

Gender equality?

It’s not the only survey that casts doubt on the superiority of the male motorist. Claims data collected by insurers clearly shows that women make fewer and less costly claims then men. Insurers are not, however, allowed to take gender into account when setting premiums. The findings of the study are also backed up by statistics from the Department for Transport. In 2013, male drivers accounted for more than 40,000 road casualties, compared with less than 35,000 for women drivers. But let’s not rush to dismiss any link between speed and safety. Men who returned vehicles with damage exceeded the speed limit 82 times on average during the rental period. Female drivers who damaged cars also sped more often, averaging 90 instances of speeding.

Damage report

Paul O’Dowd of In-Car Cleverness says: “While the number of cars damaged by the opposite sexes varies, the behaviours that result in damage are consistently similar. “The statistics show a clear correlation between vehicle damage and instances of speeding, harsh braking and acceleration.”

What do you think?

Attitudes to women drivers are still, in many instances, redolent of rubbish comedians playing working men’s clubs in the 1970s. But the cold hard stats that insurance companies produce (but can’t use when they set their prices!) demonstrate that women are safer drivers. So what do you think? Are women actually better drivers than men? Or are men technically better drivers who are unwitting victims of their own testosterone-fuelled impulses?

Go on, get it off your chest in the box below…

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