Why are women such bad drivers? Because they think it's cute

Woman driving
Are women drivers a problem on the road? Erin seems to think so Credit: Getty Images /Dimitri Vervitsiotis 

So here’s a question. Why are women such bad drivers? I desperately want to know, because it’s been driving me absolutely nuts.

You may think I’m generalising too much, but every time there’s a car travelling slowly in the outside lane, forcing everyone to undertake, not responding even to flashing headlights because the driver isn’t looking in the mirror, it’s a woman.

Every time there’s a very small car struggling to reverse into a very large space in a supermarket car park, it’s a woman. Every time there’s a car driving with foglights on in broad daylight, it’s a woman. Every time there’s a driver hunched over the steering wheel so it’s less than 30cm from their face, it’s a woman.

What is wrong with these people? Do they think: I’ll take my test because I have to be able to get from A to B when my husband’s at work, but I’m not interested in learning how to behave responsibly on the road because that’s a man’s job?

Do they think: it’s got metal and it’s loud, I can’t possibly understand it because I’m female and can therefore only deal with soft, fluffy things? Or do they think: speed is scary and I don’t have to deal with scary things because I’m a woman? What is it about women abdicating responsibility to men for anything that’s physically daunting?

This is not the Fifties, women. Your time of being helpless is up. Sure, by all means if you don’t drive much in the week, you’re going to be a nervous driver, but that’s not an excuse for being a stupid driver. Nervousness should result in more attention being paid to your speed (and big NB coming up: travelling 10mph or 20mph under the speed limit can be more dangerous than going the same speed over the limit, but you’d need to be aware of your surroundings, or your speedometer, in the first place in order to make that call).

This is not the Fifties, women. Your time of being helpless is up.

I know that men can be far more aggressive motorists than women, but I’d rather deal with an aggressive, speeding driver who is aware of what speed he is doing, where the other cars are on the road, and has heightened his reactions to match his increase in speed (not evident in the majority of cases, I grant you), than someone sitting at 60mph in the middle lane while frustration builds up around her, utterly unaware of the danger she’s creating behind her.

It pretty much summed up the shame of being a female driver when the Government dropped a proposal to raise the motorway speed limit to 80mph last summer because of public opposition to the idea… from women. Despite the fact that 80mph is now effectively the de facto speed limit, a survey of 13,000 drivers for the AA found that while 73 per cent of men favoured the change, 41 per cent of women thought the speed limit should remain at 70mph.

41 per cent of women thought the speed limit should remain at 70mph

I’d love to ask those who spoke out against the rise on what basis they did so. Given, that is, that 61 per cent of accidents happen on rural roads, 11 times the number that occur on motorways, thereby proving that 80mph is not an inherently dangerous speed on a straight road with four lanes.

And given that on Germany’s unrestricted Autobahns, travelling at 100mph has not resulted in the death of a nation, on what grounds did these female experts consider a rise to 80mph, and thereby a de facto limit of nearer 90mph, a bad thing? Or, forgive me the assumption, could it simply have been that, like the wooliest of sheep, they all thought: “Ooh, speed, scary and bad, we no likey.”

Come on, women, give the rest of us a break. Start using your brains behind the wheel; you’re not being cute and girly by driving badly – you’re just dangerous.

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