Thursday, May 19, 2022

Are men really better drivers than women?

“Basadi ba tlhokana le tsela ee leng ya bone.” (Women need to have their own roads.)

“This guy drives like a lady, we’ll never reach our destination”.

And there have been many more uncomplimentary remarks that, if overhead by the person to which the remarks are directed, would give new meaning to ‘road rage’.

I have personally suffered behind some driver who drove as if they are entering a funeral parlour and, when I grit my teeth and bite my lower lip, I zoomed dangerous and angrily past the offending vehicle to notice it is a woman driver.

“A woman; I should have thought!”

I think you and I have said a lot of flaming statements under our breath as we get offended by other drivers on the road.

Apart from Danica Patrick, the dare devil professional race car driver, even race tracks and motor sports are male dominated areas because of the notion that women are believed not to be quite as good as men when behind the wheel.

The question of who is the better driver between men and women could be very tricky.

Some people compared it to questions of which came first ‘the chicken or the egg’. Whilst all the men I interviewed insisted males are better drivers, their female counterparts believe it’s the other way round.

Traditionally, women rarely owned cars and hence they never really bothered to learn how to drive. I remember back in the days when we were growing up, we used to think only rich ladies knew how to drive.

In the modern society, it is different. Women prefer to be independent. These days it is the mothers who drop their kids at school and do the shopping. More women own cars and have driver’s licences and there are almost as many male drivers on the roads as there are female drivers.

Locally, there is no statistical evidence to prove who the better driver is as the police say they do not keep records of gender when recording accidents and traffic offences.

Most women believe that men drive faster while women are considered to be more careful on the road, making them the safer and hence better drivers.

In some countries, insurance companies have different policies for male and female, with the latter paying lower premiums as they are considered to be a lower risk.

Though this has not been fully implemented locally, most of the insurance companies I spoke to said they are considering introducing reduced premiums for ladies.

Regent Insurance recently launched a policy specifically for females to insure their cars at a lower price.

Betsi Njele, a 40-year-old sales rep with over 17 years driving experience, believes that women are better drivers than men.

“Very few women would risk drinking and driving, and that’s why they cause less accidents,” she said.

Unless, maybe when driving on the highway or an ambulance, women drivers are much more patient and drive at a safer speed maybe as an extension of having children in the car most times.

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