History and Origin
Women first got their reputation as bad drivers from one individual who won't be named, on June 4th AD 4. This individual crashed her car spectacularly, seriously harming herself, a rock, and the guy who wrote the bible. Unfortunately for us (because she continues being alive),
and for women all around the world (because they get a hilarious stereotype), she survived.
Later occurances of exemplary female driving techniques from many others ensured that this stereotype stuck, and in time was applied to all females. This is, in fact, unfair: it is only a mere 98% of females who present symptoms of "true female driving".
Statistics have revealed that car accidents involving women drivers consistently cost less to insurance companies than those of their male counterparts, so it's little wonder that there has been a sharp increase in the number of insurers offering cover for women drivers exclusively in recent years. The fact that dropping the kids off at school and doing the weekly shopping still largely remains in the domain of women, it would suggest that by them driving relatively short journeys, often at reduced speeds, they incur fewer accidents and are therefore deemed less of an insurance risk.
The reality is, however, that changing lifestyles, ambitions and responsibilities mean more and more women drivers of all ages are travelling longer distances. But while the attitudes of female drivers are generally considered to be less aggressive than those of men, almost any leading or niche car insurer will be more inclined to offer competitive insurance quotes to women drivers when statistics show that a far greater number of men have incurred convictions for dangerous driving.
Smaller, less powerful and greater fuel economy are all factors that many women would consider important when given the opportunity to purchase a car for their own personal use, particularly one that is to be driven on an everyday, around-town basis, and as this type of car will ensure the best deal when it comes to finding cheaper car insurance, quotes from almost every insurer in the industry will reward women drivers with such values, discounts, and benefits on policies at any level of cover.
Whilst I am sure that there are plenty of people who would suggest (in a tongue in cheek manner) that women should be banned from driving, it is worth bearing in mind that there are some places in the world where it it is actually illegal for a woman to be behind the wheel of a car.
Take Saudi Arabia for example, a woman in her 20’s was arrested back in March 2009 in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi after she was seen driving a Lexus 4×4. The police gave chase and took her into custody.
A statement from the spokesman for the Mecca Police, Maj Abdul Muhsin al-Mayman said “The woman tried to escape when she saw a police car and in the process hit another car, which was slightly damaged”.
He did not identify the woman or give her nationality, but said she was handed over to the Prosecution and Investigation Commission for interrogation.
Stories such as this one do make you realise the freedoms we take for granted in the western world!
We’ve had this great old fashioned advert for Motor Oil sent in to us, and it does a great job of highlighting the way the media portrayed women drivers in the past.
Reading the article, it’s the first few paragraphs that hammer the point home, and shows the stereotypical view of women drivers, that was accepted seriously at the time, but can be looked at in a more tongue-in-cheek manner now.
To quote from the article:
“More and more men drivers are realizing the importance of using the correct oil in their cars. To their wives who drive the cars during the week, the importance of scientific lubrication is even greater.
Driving problems, bothersome enough for men drivers, become more serious when a woman is at the wheel… ”
The article goes on to describe ”Driving problems that bother women.” such as “Engine is difficult to start” and “gears have to be shifted in hills and traffic“.
It’s an advertising piece clearly directed at men, that it would simply not be possible to get away with any more, but thankfully worth a laugh at now, just to show how far we’ve come (or not, judging by some of the videos on this site!)
Have a good look here:
A new survey by UK motor insurer Elephant.co.uk found that female motorists are particularly prone to get in a spin if someone is watching and more than twice as likely to resort to asking another driver to park their car for them.
- The survey of 4,200 drivers: 1428 men and 2772 women appears to back up anecdotal evidence that women have a blind spot when it comes to reversing into a parking space.
- 75% admit that backing into a space is at times too difficult even when there is sufficient room and more than one in five confess they are hopeless at the manoeuvre under any conditions.
- That compares with just nine per cent of men who admit they are inept at parallel parking reversing into a space next to the kerb – and half who are sometimes defeated by an adequate space.
- A separate US survey commissioned by car firm Ford found that 35% of women avoid parallel parking whenever possible.
- Almost one in three women – 28 per cent – admit persuading another driver to park for them compared to just 12 per cent of men.
- And 47 per cent have left their car at an awkward angle to the kerb compared to only 39 per cent of men.
- “There is a definite difference between genders and their attitude to parking,” said the firm’s managing director Brian Martin.
- “Some people claim that generally women are not so spatially aware as men. This would certainly play a part in being able to park comfortably.
- “The women we questioned were far more willing to admit they have trouble doing it. Nearly three times as many women say they’ve been unable to park.”
- 75~% of female respondents said parking is more difficult when being watched by someone else compared to just 47% of men who get stage fright at the wheel.
- 81% of women surveyed get flustered when another motorist stops to wait for them whereas just 56%of men find it stressful.
- The research is backed up by the firm’s claims records that show that more women are involved in car park collisions – 56 per cent of claimants in the past 12 months are female compared with 44 per cent male.
- “Our research shows just what a problem many motorists have with parallel parking. It’s something most people don’t like to admit – especially men,” said Mr Martin.
- The survey also revealed that 56% overall have had a parking space ’stolen’ by another driver as they dithered over manoeuvring and that parking problems cause many motorists to become angry and frustrated.
- 20% frequently get angry when unable to find a space and 17% have got into an argument with another driver over a free space.
Here’s a few of the better jokes regarding women drivers and their cars
- Policeman: ‘When I saw you coming round that bend I thought, “Forty-five at least”.’
Woman driver: ‘Well, I always look older in this hat.’
- Wife: “There’s trouble with the car. It has water in the carburettor.”
Husband: “Water in the carburettor? That’s plain daft.”
Wife: “I’m telling you the car has water in the carburettor.”
Husband: “Don’t be silly, You don’t even know what a carburettor is. Where’s the car?”
Wife: “In next door’s swimming pool.”
- One liner: “We bumped into some old friends yesterday, my wife was driving.”
- One liner II: “Nothing confuses a man more than a woman driver who does everything right.”
- One Liner: My wife had a nasty accident with the car this morning. She backed it out of the garage, completely forgetting that the night before, she had backed it in.
- Judge: ’But if you saw the woman driving towards you, why didn’t you give her half the road?’
Male Driver: ‘I was going to, Your Honour, as soon as I could find out which half she wanted.’
- A lady driver was passing through a built-up area at about 60 mph when she noticed a motorcycle cop on her tail. She accelerated to to 80 mph but he stuck doggedly to her tail. She really put her foot down and pushed the car up to 90 mph, drawing rapidly away from the policeman. Suddenly she spotted a filling station ahead and slammed on the brakes. she stopped on the forecourt and ran into the womens toilets. 5 mins later she came out to see the police officer still waiting for her. With a polite smile she said, ‘I bet you thought I wouldn’t make it in time!’
Real answers given by Women Drivers in the California Driving Test:
- Question: What are some points to remember when passing or being passed?
Answer: Make eye contact and wave “hello” if he/she is cute.
- Question: What is the difference between a flashing red traffic light
and a flashing yellow traffic light?
Answer: The color.
- Question: Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road? Answer: What for? He can’t see my license plate.
- Question: When driving through fog, what should you use?
Answer: Your car.
- Question: What changes would occur in your lifestyle if you could no
longer drive lawfully?
Answer: I would be forced to drive unlawfully.