Women Drivers Collide With Other Women Drivers More Than a Study Expected
Women drivers get into a higher than expected number of traffic accidents with other women drivers, according to a recent study by University of Michigan researchers. The study of data from a nationally representative sample of police-reported crashes from 1988 to 2007 looked at six different crash scenarios between two vehicles, based on speed, direction of approach, and crash angles. Researchers compared the data to the numbers of miles driven in a year by women and by men.
As reported by the University of Michigan News Service:
Because men drive about 60 percent of those annual miles and women drive 40 percent, men are expected to be involved in a higher percentage of crashes for each scenario, road conditions and driving skills being equal.
But the researchers found that crashes involving two female drivers were overrepresented in five of the six crash scenarios, including two by at least 50 percent more and two others by more than 25 percent greater than what was expected.
The study indicated that, in certain crash scenarios, crashes between two male drivers were underrepresented, although the percentage of crashes between female drivers and male drivers were closer to what researchers expected.
Researchers speculate that auto accidents between women drivers might occur because women, who are shorter than men in general, have a harder time seeing out car windows. Or perhaps the higher number of woman-and-woman crashes has to do with the fact that, according to some other studies, women are not as good at perceiving time and speed, or rotating three-dimensional figures in their minds — abilities that can come in handy while driving.
As Ross Kenneth Urken writes for AOL Autos:
Rather than looking at the national Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) — which most safety advocates use because it is based on police-reported data from the most severe and most documented kinds of crashes, those that resulted in a death — it uses the National Household Travel Survey for its mileage counts. That survey is conducted every decade or so, and asks drivers to keep a diary of their travel, which could be easily fudged. It also looks at a sampling of accident data from police records, which is not as comprehensive as the fatality database.
Plus, it doesn’t mention the fact that women are more likely to be driving with children, who are among the biggest distractions in a car.