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Men vs Women drivers


Men are more confident of their driving abilities and are regular risk-takers, says AA Insurance

Men take more risks behind the wheel, whether it’s after drinking, speeding or driving under stressful conditions, according to AA Insurance. The company surveyed 4336 New Zealand drivers aged 18-65 for the 2010 AA Insurance Drivers Index.

Some 32% of men say they have driven when they were probably over the drink drive limit, compared with 24% of women.

Likewise, 19% of men say they have sometimes altered their driving route to avoid being breathalysed after drinking, compared with 11% of women.

“Given everything we know about the effect of alcohol consumption on driving, these figures are cause for real concern,” says Martin Fox, Deputy General Manager, AA Insurance. “In addition to all the real risks of death and injury caused by drink driving, many people still seem surprised to learn that if you’re over the legal limit it usually voids your insurance.”

The AA Insurance Drivers Index also shows that men and women think and behave differently when it comes to speed.

Almost a quarter of men surveyed (24%, compared with only 16%of women) say they break the speed limit most of the time, but 90% of those say they exceed it by 5-10kph only.

When asked why they kept to the speed limit, women were most likely to say safety (47%, compared with only 36% of men). Men are more likely to stick to the speed limit because of the potential to lose demerit points (9% compared with 5% of women).

“Our claims data shows that women make slightly more claims than men but women’s claims also cost less,” says Martin. “Our survey does suggest some contributing factors for this, because when people take risks they are more likely to have bigger accidents. However, men not only take more risks but also spend more time behind the wheel.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 83% of men said they were the main driver in the household around town
  • 47% of men say they have gestured or yelled at another motorist for doing something dangerous or rude, compared with 43% of women
  • 24% of men say they have become so angry with another motorist that they have tailgated them, compared with 17%of women
  • 75% of men said they have the expertise to teach someone to drive, compared with 60% of women

“Despite being the gender that takes more risks on the road, men are clearly more confident in their driving abilities both in time spent behind the wheel and confidence in their abilities to teach others to drive”, says Fox. “This result suggests that risk-taking driving patterns will be passed on to the next generation of drivers.”


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