Behind the Wheel, Women Are Safer Drivers Than Men

Women tend to be better drivers than men — much better, judging by the number of deaths they cause on the road.

British researchers used a government database of 14,425 road fatalities from 2005 to 2015 that involved more than one vehicle. Without assigning blame for the accidents, they calculated the number of other people’s deaths associated with drivers of cars, vans, trucks, motorcycles, buses and bicycles.

The study, in Injury Prevention, found that, per mile traveled, trucks and buses were involved in the largest number of fatalities involving others on the road, and motorcycles were about twice as dangerous to other road users as cars. Bicycle riders were involved in the fewest fatalities to other people.

But compared with women, male drivers of cars and vans had twice the rate of fatal accidents per mile driven. Male truck drivers had about four times the rate of women truckers, and men driving motorcycles almost 12 times the rate of women motorcyclists. For bus drivers and bicycle riders, there was little difference between the sexes.

“The overarching thing behind this study is that we’re looking at risks you pose to others by using a vehicle,” said the lead author, Rachel Aldred, a reader at the University of Westminster in London. “That’s an aspect of this that we don’t often look at.”

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