Last Updated on: October 8th, 2015
There is a long-standing stereotype that women can’t drive, both when it comes to archetypes and in statistic evidence.
Is there actually any merit to that idea, though?
In an article here, the writer rather angrily calls out women drivers and the annoying habits she has witnessed them conducting: driving more slowly, opposing any higher speed changes on the road, and generally just being a nuisance. Her rant asks women why this is the case, stating that this is no longer ’50s and we cannot rely on men to do the driving or handle cars just because they are big, mechanical constructs – someone is certainly peeved. The reactions to her article range from hesitant agreeing to scoffing. Baker’s article seems to largely be based on her own perspective and observations. If it does anything, it shows that it is not just men holding on to this view point.
It is a long held platitude after all – check on Twitter or Reddit and you are sure to find groups making fun of women drivers and all of the negativity associated with them. As it were, #womendrivers on Twitter was associated with the sexist notion and posts often followed spouting some pretty vile remarks and pictures to follow with them. Audi Ireland took the opportunity to turn it into a clever campaign. They posted tweets that everyone expected to be just as sexist as all of the old things associated with #womendrivers and instead got taken to links about women who have made great strides or “driven” their industry forward; well-played.
As you can see, it is clearly a hot topic. However, what do the actual statistics say? The short answer – it varies. A study conducted by Carrentals UK ended up showing that women were the better drivers, as an example. However, a comprehensive study conducted by Private Fleet, an Australia based car buying company, took data from 3500 individuals and found that men were statistically the better drivers.
In short, the variables at play seem to hold much more weight than is let on. The differences in locations, age groups, laws and psychological profiles all hold a hand in how we, as individuals, drive. When it comes down to it, statistics or not, the lesson to come away with is that generalizing does no one any favors. It makes those who are ranting angrily look foolish, those who are mocking it look childish and the scientific research that went into proving it seem rather random as per said variables. We’ve all been driving and more than likely seen a stereotype or two on the road: the guy in the truck angrily weaving in and out of traffic, the college girl chatting away on her mobile and doing her make-up and the old lady who is going at a snail’s pace. There are scientifically valid reasons in each case and they are interesting facts to read up on – when it comes to such a large scale question, however, it ends up feeling as though the data is just inclusive and unfinished.
Perhaps we’re just better off not asking who is better at what?
Reversing a stereotrype. #WomenDrivers
— Audi Ireland (@audiireland) April 27, 2015
— Audi Ireland (@audiireland) April 29, 2015