Study Shows Women Drive Better than Men

Men pose a higher risk to other road users

The study was published online in the journal Injury Prevention. It reveals that men drive more dangerous cars and take more risks when driving compared to women. The study is regarding the safety of other road users.

Researchers suggest that more gender equity in road transport jobs could help reduce these risks. The study was conducted on four sets of official data for England using stats from 2005 to 2015. The sets include police injury statistics (Stats19), Road Traffic Statistics, National Travel Survey data, and Office for National Statistics population/gender figures.

The data was used to analyse the risks posed to other road users including bicycles, cars and taxis, vans, buses, lorries and motorcycles. Moreover, the researchers used statistics covering one billion vehicle kilometres travelled. They split these figures into road type – A roads and B roads, for urban and rural areas while the other segment covered the driver’s gender. 

The results show that two-thirds of fatalities to other road users are associated with cars and taxis. Looking further on this matter, the travelled distance reveals that the number of fatalities increases when it comes to lorries – one in six deaths to other road users. In other words, each kilometre driven by a lorry equals five times more fatalities compared to cars.

Taking into count the data when it comes to gender, the figures reveal that men pose a higher risk to other road users for five of the six vehicle types studied. Furthermore, the figures double for cars and vans compared to women drivers when we look at the km driven. The numbers increase four times for lorry drivers and over ten times for motorcycle riders.

Lead researcher Dr. Rachel Aldred states that driving-related jobs are a male-dominated field. Moreover, the number of fatalities including lorries driven by men is 95%.

"Greater gender equity would have a positive impact on these injuries," she suggests, adding that: "Policy-makers should be looking to measure the risk posed to others, and how to reduce it," said Aldred.

"We suggest policy-makers consider policies to increase gender balance in occupations that substantially involve driving, given the greater likelihood that other road users will be killed if men rather than women are driving or riding," she concludes.

The number of motorcycles on the road is a lot smaller compared to other vehicles. This should mean that there is less risk of incidents when we look at bikes, but the figures show that’s not the case here. Each km driven has almost 2.5 times more deaths to other road users compared to cars.

City driving has the highest number in fatalities, 173 over the entire study period and all were pedestrians. Also, the study shows that the safest way to travel is by bicycle – just one other death per billion km cycled. 

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