Women Get a Bad Rap About Driving—But Do They Deserve It?

For years, generation up generation, in fact, there has been a battle of the sexes that takes place every day all day and into the night on the streets of this nation. The age-old adage creates a great debate. Are women worse drivers than men? Who was the first to say this? Most assuredly, it was a man. But do women really deserve this bad reputation they have been served simply because they were born female?

Who Engages in Risky Behavior More?

When it comes down to answering this question, the answer must be presented in the form of another question. Where does the human proclivity to take a chance—to run a risk—come from? Are we born with it? Is it learned behavior or are we born with it? It’s truly a case of nature vs. nurture, according to Sandra Black. A little boy climbs a tree, and he’s rooted on to climb one branch higher. His sister climbs the tree later on that same month, and she is told to get down immediately before she falls and then gets admonished for getting dirt on the knee of her pants. Same tree, different day. A family with girls who are allowed to play and express themselves freely is climbing the tree. The neighbor boy stands near the tree but never attempts to climb it. He tries to hide his tears because the other neighborhood boys are teasing him for being scared to climb the tree. Who dictates who the risk-takers are in society?

Who is Responsible for More Accidents?

When it comes down to responsibility for car accidents, you can’t just look at face value numbers, and consider them the answer. If you do this, the answer is men. But if you dig deeper, peel back a few layers, and mix some science in with the math, there is a different picture. When data is analyzed, there is no denying men get pulled over more by the police. They get the most speeding tickets, reckless driving citations, and DUIs, and they’re nailed as the responsible party for more car accidents and accidents resulting in fatalities. According to Benson & Bingham, teen males are over 74 percent more likely than females to be killed in auto accidents. But there are also more licensed male drivers than females. Additionally, the average male driver is behind the wheel for more miles than the average female driver. Therefore, higher responsibility statistics are self-explanatory. Some say that the reason why men, especially younger men, are in more accidents and cause more fatalities is that society deems the man to be a risk-taker.

Another Stereotype

The stereotype that women are worse drivers than men is just another stereotype. Is it derogatory towards women? Is a man that states this theory as fact woman bashing? Face value says yes. He is. But if you dig deeper, you will find that this is truly inconclusive as to whether or not there is any factual value to it. And then there stands the question, why does it matter if an accident is caused by a woman or a man?

Why are we a society who has to label in the name of blame so often? Just be a person who drives carefully, whether you are male or female. Wear a seatbelt, because the car that may cause you to have an accident doesn’t have a gender. It’s a car that was manufactured in a plant. And if it hits you, no matter who the driver is, it will cause damage.

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