Some gender differences – behind the wheel

The driving test statistics suggest men are better drivers.

The driving test statistics suggest men are better drivers.

If there is one topic which is sure to cause men and women to argue it is their performance behind the wheel of a car.

New research from Admiral, in conjunction with the Driving Instructors Association (DIA) has revealed the differences between men and women drivers begin before they’ve even passed their test and continue after they hit the road.

According to the findings, instructors say men are quicker at learning, but women are more focused. More women also pass their theory test first time, but more men pass the practical test.

Once they pass, young men are far more likely to have an accident than women and accidents involving young men cost nearly twice as much as those involving young women.

When asked about learner drivers, the instructors said women listen to instruction, are not competitive and are self aware. Their biggest weaknesses were cited as lack confidence and a tendency to be over-cautious.

The instructors said the strengths for male learners are confidence, coordination and spatial awareness.

However, men can perhaps get ahead of themselves behind the wheel with instructors saying men can be over-confident, and don’t listen to instruction.

Carly Brookfield, chief executive of the DIA, said: “Obviously everyone has their own individual advantages or challenges when learning to drive - regardless of gender, but the majority of our members we questioned think gender does have an impact on learning to drive.

There is a good body of research which reflects a clear difference in learning approaches too.

Admiral and the DIA next looked at the driving test to see if that could indicate which gender is best. The driving test statistics suggest men are better drivers.

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), slightly more women than men pass their theory test first time, but more men than women pass their practical test first time.

Between April 2015 and March 2016, 51 per cent of women passed their theory test first time, compared with 48 per cent of men.

However, the positions were switched for the practical test with 51 per cent of men passing that first time, but only 44 per cent of women doing so.