Data shows women are better drivers – in theory

Data shows women are better drivers – in theory
Data shows women are better drivers – in theory

It’s an argument that has raged for almost as long as cars have been around – are men or women better drivers?

Now, new analysis of driving test and accident data has come up with an answer – women are better drivers, in theory at least.

A study of driving test results from the last decade has shown that female learners consistently outperform men when it comes to the theory test.

In every year since 2007 a larger proportion of women than men have passed the test. In 2017/18, over half of women (51 per cent) who sat their theory test passed, compared to just 46 per cent of men. And, since then, women have continued to outperform men, scoring between 3.3 per cent and 6.6 per cent better every year over the period.

Role reversal

When it comes to the practical side, though, roles are reversed and male learners have outperformed female drivers every year since 2007.

Last year 50.3 per cent of men who took the practical driving test passed, compared to 43.4 per cent of women and, over the last 11 years, they have scored 6-6.9 per cent better every year.

That’s not the end of the story though, as despite this success at actually being able to get on the road first, crash data shows that men account for the vast majority of serious incidents on the roads. According to statistics from road safety charity Brake, men account for 74 per cent of UK road traffic deaths, 70 per cent of serious injuries and 59 per cent of slight injuries on the roads; so despite passing first men may not always be the safest drivers.

“Open to learning”

Following their analysis of the figures, car leasing specialists, Leasing Options sought out the experts’ view and turned to celebrity driving instructors, Gaynor and Noel Gaughan – who taught Adele to drive – to find out who make the better drivers.

Gaynor, said: “It was interesting to see the data about the differences between male and female learner drivers. I’ve found that female learners have always been quicker at incorporating the knowledge and the theory side than male customers, though the most important thing is that people are open to learning.”

Noel added: “I’ve always felt that women make better drivers, hands down.

“In my experience they are more aware of what is around them and they work harder on the theory test. When it comes to the driving test, confidence can be an important factor and I have often found that male learners tend to be more confident. That doesn’t mean I’d be as confident leaving my own car keys with them though.”

Mike Thompson, brand manager at Leasing Options, said: “The data makes for some interesting reading around theory and practical tests and the impact confidence can have when learning to drive. Passing your test is a real milestone in a person’s life and yet it’s important that people continue to learn once they’re on the road.”

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Everything you need to know about the new driving test

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