Women are better drivers than men, University of New South Wales study finds
DAMNING new evidence from police and road safety experts proves males are worse drivers than females and are more likely to speed, crash and, tragically, die behind the wheel.
From relatively simple tasks like parallel parking to more challenging behaviour on busy highways, women have emerged as safer and more skilful motorists all round.
The figures at the lethal end of the equation are frightening, especially at this time of year with tens of thousands of families hitting the road to head home from the long weekend.
In the 12 months to the end of February, four times as many male drivers were involved in fatal crashes.
And a recent study by the University of New South Wales Transport and Road Safety research unit found that whether men were drivers, passengers, motorcyclists or pedestrians, they were 1.6 to 1.7 times more likely to be killed on the road.
"Males are certainly at higher risk than females, whether it's per car, per head of population or per the kilometres travelled," road safety chair Professor Raphael Grzebieta."They are simply more risk-prone and females are more risk-averse."
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures show men accounted for more than 72 per cent of all driving offences recorded by police in NSW in the 12 months to last September.
That equated to male drivers being caught for 470,000 offences in a year, including more than 164,000 cases of speeding.
And men are not just breaking the law more often - they're losing control of their vehicles and putting lives at risk in far greater numbers.
Part of the reason may be that men do a lot more driving than women. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show female drivers account for just one-third of total motor vehicle travel on Australian roads.
However, NSW Centre for Road Safety general manager Margaret Prendergast said even with that imbalance, male drivers were "significantly over-represented" in serious accidents, accounting for almost 80 per cent of fatal crashes.
While young males are historically the most reckless drivers, most men regardless of age have worse driving habits than women, according to veteran driving instructor Russell White.
"After sitting next to drivers for 22 years, experience has shown me that females are better. When you train ladies you generally find they will be much better on the brake pedal and are often far easier to teach, because you're not having to unwind a whole heap of bad habits," he said.