Male vs. Female Drivers | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

There is a decades-old stereotype that male drivers are better than female drivers. There are gender-related differences in the rate of vehicle accidents, but the statistics don’t necessarily back up the stereotype. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), male drivers cause approximately 6.1 million vehicle accidents, and female drivers cause 4.4. million vehicle accidents each year. In one year, male drivers are responsible for approximately 37,000 fatal crashes and female drivers are responsible for about 13,000 fatal accidents every year.

While this data may indicate that male drivers have more accidents than female drivers, it is also important to look at other data. National statistics show that almost 106 million women have their driver’s licenses and 104 million men do. Female drivers travel about 10,000 miles each year, while male drivers travel about 16,500 miles each year. This means that women drivers about 30 percent less than men do each year. So, while male drivers cause more accidents than female drivers, women have a higher risk of being involved in a crash per mile driven.

Why the Difference?

So why do more male drivers cause more crashes than female drivers? Studies show that in addition to the additional miles men drive, they are also more likely to engage in risky driving behaviors, such as failing to use seatbelts, speeding, ignoring traffic laws, and driving under the influence.

  • Risk-taking behavior: Several studies have shown that, on average, men tend to engage in riskier driving behaviors compared to women. For example, men are more likely to speed, tailgate, and drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This tendency toward risk-taking can lead to a higher likelihood of accidents and violations.
  • Safety belt usage: Research consistently demonstrates that women are more likely to wear seat belts compared to men. Seat belts are a crucial safety feature in vehicles and contribute significantly to reducing injuries and fatalities in accidents. The higher compliance rate among female drivers with seat belt usage suggests a safer approach to driving.
  • Accident severity: Some studies have found that accidents caused by male drivers are more likely to result in severe injuries or fatalities compared to accidents caused by female drivers. This could be due to factors such as differences in reaction time or the inclination of men to engage in more high-impact crashes.
  • Insurance premiums: Insurance companies often use actuarial data to determine premium rates. Historically, women have paid lower car insurance premiums than men, reflecting a belief that they pose lower risks on the road. While this is not a direct measure of driving skills, it does suggest that the insurance industry perceives female drivers as safer overall.

In one year, nationwide, four out of every five drivers charged with DUIs were men. These factors are especially an issue for male drivers between the ages of 21 to 34. While males in this age group account for 11 percent of the national adult population, they make up more than 30 percent of all the drivers arrested for DUI.

Men are also more likely to drive if they are fatigued. In national surveys, 56 percent of men say they have driven while fatigued, while 45 percent of women admit to drowsy driving. Men also receive more citations or charges for reckless driving than women drivers.

But there are also factors that increase the accident risk for female drivers. More women than men use cell phones while driving, which spikes the accident risk. Women also tend to be shorter than males, so that may make it more difficult to see oncoming vehicles when there are visual obstacles. And since women tend to drive fewer miles than male drivers, they have less experience per mile driven, which may mean less experience navigating road hazards.

Speak to a Virginia Beach Car Accident Attorney

It’s important to note that these studies do not imply that all female drivers are better than all male drivers. Driving skills are highly individual and depend on numerous factors, including experience, training, personality, and specific circumstances. Additionally, societal and cultural factors play a role in shaping driving behaviors and attitudes, further complicating generalizations.

Moreover, the gender disparities mentioned above have been decreasing over time. More women are becoming licensed drivers and may be influenced by changing societal norms and awareness campaigns promoting safe driving for all. The bottom line is that every driver is at risk of causing a car accident

All car accidents have the potential to permanently change the trajectory of a person’s life. If you suffered injuries in a car accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Talk to a Virginia Beach car accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to find out all your legal options.

Car accident injuries should not be ignored, and you deserve compensation for your suffering. Our injury lawyers in Virginia Beach firm has more than three decades of experience successfully advocating for injured victims and their families and will work diligently to get you the financial compensation you deserve.