It’s no secret that motoring at every level is dominated by men whether you are talking about the mechanic in your local garage or top-level Formula 1 Motor Racing. Even classic cars are seemingly controlled by the ‘old git’ brigade with the occasional female passenger there for show. But women have motoring needs too and a keen desire to avoid being ripped off by the industry-wide ‘pink premium’ practice which largely revolves around the premise that ‘she won’t understand or know what we are talking about’. Well, according to Show Plates World, women are fighting back.
At Foxy Lady Drivers there is a membership club for women drivers which offers just about every type of support and advice you can imagine to female drivers of all ages. Unknowledgeable men are also in the firing line when it comes to being ripped off but this club is just for the ladies.
It’s true, women really are safer drivers than men
Here are some interesting key facts from Brake, the road safety charity which has women passing the chequered flag well ahead of their male counterparts when it comes to road safety.
- Globally, men account for 73% of all road traffic deaths, this is three times the rate of women
- In the UK, the stats reveal that men are responsible for 74% of road traffic deaths, 70% of serious injuries and just over half of the slight or non-serious injuries incurred in UK road accidents
- This might be something to do with the fact that on average, men drive twice as many miles as women and they also hold a driving licence in far greater numbers. 80% of men compared to 67% of women in the UK have a valid driving licence
- In the UK, the proportion of male drivers reported for driving under the influence of drugs was four times higher than females who admitted the same offence
- In Britain, 95% of the convictions for death caused by dangerous driving are against males
This is stark reading. Behavioural studies show that one of the reasons for this difference in attitude is that men, particularly young men, tend to have a different mindset when it comes to taking risks. This is supported by aggressive and confrontational driving behaviour which is far more likely to be exhibited by men rather than women. Travel habits are another contributory factor.
Women travel more frequently than men but men tend to travel longer distances with an average of 7,200 miles per year compared to females at 5,800 miles in a twelve-month period. This difference is most usually accounted for by employment. The number of women drivers has grown steadily since the 1970s; in that decade, men outnumbered women behind the steering wheel at a rate of three to one. Employment rates are partly responsible for this trend. Women are the new growth sector in motoring and commercial organisations are missing a trick if they don’t cotton onto this.
Driver attitudes behind the wheel – the difference between the genders
In past driver surveys, Brake has found the attitude of male drivers compared to female very different on a variety of subjects such as speed, drink-driving and driving distractions. Men are more likely to exhibit attitudes which are synonymous with higher risks and dangerous driving. Notably, just over half of men think they are a better or safer driver than other people and they drive with more confidence; only 39% of women think like this. Also, women worry about a close family member or relative being killed in a car accident.
Men’s default reaction almost always seems to be to go faster whereas the opposite is true for women who think slower is the way to go and that penalties for speeding are too lenient. An AA survey of 13,000 drivers questioned on the proposition of raising the motorway speed limit from 70mph to 80mph found that 73% of men were in favour of this with almost all of the opposition coming from female drivers.
Foxylady is on the case. It seems most unfair that women are too often overcharged, ripped off or patronised just because of their gender. This seems even worse when you look at how much safer and more responsible they are in general as road users compared to men.
Foxylady can offer several services geared just towards the ladies including:-
- Female friendly garages and repairers – these are assessed as meeting Foxylady’s standards and also signing a pledge never ‘to overcharge, patronise or sell women anything they don’t need.’
- Female friendly approved driving instructors – there is a register with plenty to choose from, look out for the Foxylady logo
- Approved car dealers – Foxylady keep a comprehensive list of car traders and retailers who have signed their pledge
- Subscription-based membership – this is a mix of female-friendly motoring news via an e-newsletter, new car deals, discounts and support services such as used car checks, insurance claims advice, practical motoring support and guidance and legal advice
Despite the statistics, women drivers are still the butt of jokes and vilified in some newspapers and motoring magazines. But you cannot deny the statistics which point conclusively to the fact that women are better drivers than men. Price comparison site Confused.com ran a survey looking at the figures and data on insurance, driving test results and crime rates which found:-
- Female drivers commit less driving offences when on the road than men
- Women are less likely to be involved in a car accident than men which means they bill for insurance companies is lower and the premium for lady drivers is lower too
- It takes longer on average for women to pass their test than men which translates into more driving tuition before they go solo
The data doesn’t lie. Perhaps because women can sometimes be more cautious, even less confident behind the wheel compared to men, they carry around with them a mantle of being poorer drivers but in fact, the reverse is true.