Women are bad drivers according to a new University of Michigan study. Granted, the study is too politically correct to say just that. These are serious people, not bloggers. But, really, it is impossible to ramrod any other conclusion from this study.
The study looked at 6.5 million car accidents and found that women cause more car accidents per mile driven then men. The study’s lead author found the scope of the difference “astounding.”
This is a very difficult argument to make. Not hard intellectually. But hard to make with a PC face on. Ultimately, I don’t think most women care much about this “attack” for the same reason I would not care about studies that show men are more violent and less caring. As long as you are not talking about me, you can say anything you want. Same goes for lawyers too, by the way. You think almost all personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers? Fine. As long you don’t include me, I’m cool. But there is going to be an outraged minority that will drive past the data and skip right to indignation. I’ve never really understood it but I suspect it is outrage just because some people really do enjoy being outraged. Look around your office. There are three people you can think of fast who love being outraged, right?
Are women bad drivers? Actually, that is not the question. I think Americans are bad drivers and, ironically, I think they are better than 99% of the rest of the world. Instead the question is: Are women worse drivers than men and do they cause more car accidents?
In my practice, I can’t say I can discern a difference in the number of car accidents caused by men or women. As for the data, I’m not an epidemiologist. I do know that the data hinges on whether the participants kept accurate mileage data. I have not seen the study, but if I found one that said men lie more than women, I would not be shocked. So if men are exaggerating the miles they drive – driving lots is macho, I guess, like not getting much sleep – then it seems to me this whole University of Michigan driving study goes up in flames. So who knows? Should people research this further? Sure, I guess. Although you can also make a different argument: who cares?
One interesting note in the study is the possibility of why women may be worse drivers than men. Intersections may be riskier for women. They’re often t-boned executing a left turn, or are hit on the passenger side while trying to make a right-hand turn. Why? Again, who knows if it is even accurate? But women are shorter than men and may have a harder time seeing traffic coming the other way.
Anyway, the Internet will probably explode over this in ways not seen since the Casey Anthony verdict. I really don’t care. But I do think that car manufacturers should look and see if safety specifications for a car properly consider that women are typically shorter than men.