Vias: ‘Statistically proven: men drive less safely than women’

People often say that women are lousy drivers, but statistics show just the opposite: almost eight in ten road deaths are men. Women are less likely to be involved in serious accidents than men and are generally also less likely to be severely injured in accidents (40% compared to 60% of men).

However, it is true that men drive more often – by car or another means of transport – and thus cover 26% more kilometers than women across all modes of transport. Men are also more likely to have a driver’s license than women. Among the over-75s, only 41% of women have a driver’s license compared to 85% of men, but the younger, the smaller the difference.

International Women’s Day

Traffic Safety Institute Vias is investigating the situation on International Women’s Day. “Even if you consider those statistics, men do worse than women,” says Stef Willems of Vias. And that mainly has to do with their behavior.”

Men are more lax about wearing seat belts and respect speed limits less often. They often use their smartphones at the wheel and are twice as likely to drive with an alcohol content above the permitted limit. This also translates into the accident statistics: an alcohol test after an injury accident showed that 66.6% of men were actually under the influence of alcohol; for women, this percentage was 5.2%.

Women take fewer risks

Vias’ conclusion: Women clearly behave more cautiously behind the wheel. They demonstrate a greater sense of responsibility and show more respect for other road users. As a result, women are less likely to be involved in serious accidents than men because they take fewer risks.

One might wonder: Are male drivers, by definition, a danger on the road? “Men are inclined to show more risky behavior,” behavioral biologist Mark Nelissen, emeritus professor at the University of Antwerp, explains in the newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

‘Evolutionary explanation’

“There is an evolutionary explanation for this,” the professor says. The male hormone testosterone not only leads to more aggression but also to more risk-taking. A primitive man who took more risks could become a better hunter, warrior, or leader or have a better chance of having a partner.”

The professor is not surprised by men’s risky behavior in traffic. “It’s in the genes, although that shouldn’t be an excuse. And women, on the other hand, have no interest whatsoever in impressing the people from an evolutionary perspective.”


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