The findings of the recent online MUA Driver Behaviour survey revealed some interesting findings about the differences between male and female motorists and their perceptions about their driving capability, driving under the influence of alcohol and speed limits.
The survey respondents comprised of 93 males and 101 females, providing an evenly distributed sample group, and opened up good debate.
So, who is better at driving?
The majority of respondents believe they are better drivers compared to their partners with a total of 70 percent admitting they think they are more skilled behind the wheel than their significant other. Male respondents were significantly more confident with 81 percent of respondents stating they were better drivers compared to only 59 percent of women.
The argument that female drivers are more cautious than males was also backed up by the survey, which indicated that 89 percent of women said they drive more carefully with a passenger in the car compared to 79 percent of men.
These results are interesting in light of numerous studies that tend to reveal women are involved in fewer motor vehicle accidents than men. A recent study by the University of New South Wales Transport and Road Safety research unit in Australia found that male drivers are four times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes compared to women.
These studies show why, in many cases, women often tend to obtain cheaper motor insurance premiums as they present a lower risk to insure. In South Africa gender is still used as a determining factor when it comes to the cost of motor insurance premiums so it will be interesting to see how the European insurance industry faces the challenge of adapting premiums as of 21 December 2012 to have no gender-based pricing.
Drinking and driving
It was promising to note that a total of 67 percent of respondents stated that they do not drive under the influence of alcohol. Female drivers once again came out tops with only 24 percent admitting they drive under the influence, compared with 41 percent of males who confessed to driving after a few drinks.
Despite these alarmingly high statistics, a positive to note is that when asked whether they insist on driving if their partner is under the influence of alcohol, and they are not, 93 percent of respondents stated they will insist on driving.
The fact remains that drunk driving is a serious problem in South Africa. According to the Medical Research Council (MRC), 53 percent of road users who die on South African roads had an alcohol level which was over the legal limit.
Article continues on page two: insurance won't pay if you're found guilty of drunken driving and reducing the speed limit to make our roads safer...