Results of a new survey of drivers indicate that men and women have different ideas about the role of gender in driving ability.
And the survey data from U.S. drivers by TeleNav, a supplier of navigation software, uncovers other differences, too, but perhaps not as great as many might believe.
From views of their biggest driving pet peeves to texting while driving, both genders reported having similar habits on the road. However, the survey results also suggest that while their actions on the road may be similar, men and women have very different perceptions of which gender rules the road.
Survey results indicate:
–Men Claim “King of the Road” Status . . . Women Beg to Differ — When asked which gender is the better driver, 40% of male respondents indicated they think males are better drivers than females. Only two% of males indicated that females are the better driving sex while 58% thought that gender plays no role in driving ability. Female respondents had a different opinion of the better driver debate. Only four% of women indicated males are the better drivers. Interestingly, just seven% of female respondents think that women are better drivers. Nearly 90% of females indicated that gender plays no role in driving ability.
–No Matter the Sex, We All Like to Text — While both sexes agreed that texting while driving should be illegal (89% of both men and women), it seems that neither men nor women are fully practicing what they preach. Nearly 25% of both male and female respondents reported sending at least one text message while driving per week. Men seem to be the most heavy texters with 36% of those who text while driving indicating they send an average of seven or more texts per week while on the road. In contrast, only 23% of women admitted to texting as frequently.
–(Road) Rules Are Meant to be Broken — Results indicate that posted speed limits may merely be viewed as “suggestions” as more than two-thirds of both men and women drivers reported having a predetermined range of speed they feel is acceptable to drive over the posted speed limit. Of those who reported having an acceptable speeding range, the majority of both men and women indicated their acceptable range is between 1-5 mph. However, more men than women (47% vs. 38%) indicated that speed ranges of 6 mph (10 kph)or more over the speed limit are acceptable.
It seems both sexes have been fairly successful at avoiding the long arm of the law while on the road. Eighty-nine% of women and 83% of men reported having a clean driving record in the past two years with no speeding or traffic tickets.
–We Can All Use a Little Guidance (Some More than Others) — Nearly one-quarter of female respondents reported that they are not confident in their own sense of direction. In contrast, only nine% of male respondents lack confidence in their sense of direction. Ironically, even though they feel they have a better sense of direction, more men than women depend on GPS technology to guide them to a location. Fifty-eight% of male respondents reported having used GPS to guide them on their way while only 48% of women have tapped the power of satellite guidance.
–It’s all the (road) rage — It appears that neither male nor female drivers are angels when they hit the open road. Nearly half of all respondents reported having made a rude/crude gesture, such as showing their middle finger, to another driver in their lifetime. Of the 50% of male drivers who have shown their displeasure toward another driver, 16% admitted to doing this at least once a week compared to just eight% of females. And what if “flipping the bird” isn’t enough? Some 41% of women and 43% of men reported using their vehicle’s horn to express displeasure at an action made by another driver.
What driving no-no’s do respondents feel warrant a honk of the horn? The top-three worst offenses include:
1. Cutting off another vehicle when changing lanes
2. Tail-gating or following too closely
3. Not using signals to turn or change lanes
Responses indicate that anger on the road isn’t always displayed toward other drivers. More than half of respondents, 55% of both men and women, reported having had an argument with a significant other while driving. The most common reason, reported by both men and women: one partner accusing the other of being a bad driver.
Note: The survey sample consisted of 502 (251 male/251 female) US drivers. Responses were collected during the week of June 14, 2010.
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