While the stereotypical thinking might be that women are not so great behind the wheels when compared to men, the statistics say otherwise. The World Health Organization estimates over 50 million are hurt and one million killed in crashes with not using seatbelts or motorcycle helmets, speeding and being distracted main causing factors of these accidents. Women generally are more compliant with respect to safety and are less likely to default on seatbelts or helmets. A study conducted by Norwegian scientists aimed to find out the same by takin an in-depth look at the effects of personal traits that impact distractions while driving since these distractions are the major cause of accidents across countries and contexts. There have been many campaigns that aim to improve road safety there are fewer studies to analyze distractions. The increasing use of mobile phones is a big reason behind reduced attention on the road. Any distraction that lasts beyond two seconds in terms of eye span is dangerous and very likely to cause an accident. The researchers examined factors such as age, gender and personality and their co-relation with accidents.
The study took into consideration two samples – one from a group of high school students with a license to drive and the second from the general population. The researchers conducted surveys to study the frequency and nature of distractions which the sample population experienced while driving along with their way of looking at distractions. The study found that the general rates of distraction were not very high. Changing radio stations or music came out to be the most common reason behind distractions. In terms of predicting the occurrence of distraction, age and gender were the most important factors. Participants who believed that it was ok to be distracted behind the wheel or felt that they could not control their reactions toward distractions turned out to be more likely to admit to distracted driving. Older women, however, as well as people who felt a better sense of control on impulses regarding distractive behavior reported lesser distractions concluded the study, which was published in Frontiers in Psychology.
According to a 2015 study conducted on male and female motorists, women beat men by a significant margin across a series of tests on driving. Also when driving around London’s busiest traffic hotspots, men behaved more stereotypically by getting too close to other vehicles, cutting corners skipping lights and talking on the phone. Women, on the other hand, obeyed the traffic lights, checked mirrors regularly and were in general more considerate of the other vehicles.