Male & female drivers: how different are they?

01 June 1998

The object of this project was to document gender differences in either the pattern of road accident involvement or driving style. To achieve this, accident statistics were examined to determine whether such differences in accident involvement exist. It was found that males were more likely than females to be involved in a fatal accident and were more likely to be involved in accidents on bends, while overtaking and during the hours of darkness. Females were more likely than males to be involved in accidents at junctions. A more intensive study of 480 drivers under the age of 50 was also carried out. This involved the use of digitised video tests of driver speed choice, close following, gap acceptance, overtaking and hazard perception, and a questionnaire covering a range of factors, such as driver experiences, sensation seeking and attitudes to alcohol and drug use. Finally, a smaller scale observational study on young drivers was discussed to determine if there are differences between young men and women drivers in their everyday driving behaviour and to determine whether or not they are differentially affected by the presence of another young person in the car.