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Do men or women cause more accidents?

men-vs-women-drivers-accidentsThere is a long-running stereotype that women are poor drivers as compared to men. While there are gender-related differences in the accident rates, the statistics do not necessarily show that women cause more accidents than men. In many states, men are charged higher insurance premiums. However, differential auto insurance pricing based on gender is no longer legal in California. While standup comics might joke about women being terrible drivers, and men sometimes tease women about the stereotype, taking a look at the data can help you to decide whether the stereotype is rooted in fact or is false. It is important to look at both the raw data and the reasons behind the differences in accident rates.

Who causes more accidents in Los Angeles?

In a study that was conducted by Crosstown, researchers found that men in Los Angeles cause a much greater percentage of accidents in Los Angeles than women. The researchers analyzed data that had been collected by the Los Angeles Police Department from the past 10 years. Out of almost 500,000 accidents that occurred in the city during that time, the researchers found that men were responsible for causing 60%, and women were responsible for causing 40%. Men caused 264,078 accidents during the 10 years, and women caused 171,343 accidents.

Out of the drivers who are registered in California, 51% are men, and 49% are women. However, men caused 23,641 accidents in LA during the first nine months of 2019 while women caused 15,527. In 1,913 crashes, the gender of the at-fault driver was listed as unknown. In another 878 collisions, the gender question was left blank on the accident report form.

If you take these statistics from Los Angeles at face value, it would seem apparent that men are worse drivers than women. However, looking at national statistics and the underlying reasons why men are involved in more accidents might help to illuminate the answer to whether women or men are worse drivers overall.

Who causes more accidents nationally?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that men cause an average of 6.1 million accidents per year in the U.S., and women cause 4.4 million accidents per year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, male drivers were responsible for 37,477 fatal crashes while women were responsible for 13,502 fatal accidents in 2017. These statistics tend to support the assertion that men are worse drivers than women. However, examining the data further reveals some additional facts.

According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, 104.3 million men 105.7 million women in the U.S. have drivers’ licenses. The Federal Highway Administration reports that men drive an average of 16,550 miles each year. Women drive an average of 10,142 miles per year, demonstrating that women drive much less than men on average. When taken together, these statistics demonstrate that women drive 30% less than men do on an annual basis. While men cause more accidents than women, women have a slightly higher risk of being involved in accidents per mile driven.

Reasons for gender differences in accident rates

There are several reasons why men cause more accidents than women. Since men drive more miles each year, they are likelier to be involved in accidents. Men are also likelier to engage in risky behaviors while they drive, including driving under the influence of alcohol, failing to use safety belts, and breaking traffic laws such as speed limits. For example, in 2010, men were arrested for four out of every five DUIs that were charged in the U.S. The problem is especially pronounced among men ages 21 to 34. While this group only makes up 11% of the adult population, it accounts for 32% of all of the DUIs in the U.S.

Men are also much likelier to drive while they are drowsy, according to data from the National Sleep Foundation. According to data that the organization has gathered about drowsy driving, 56% of men reported that they have driven while drowsy versus 45% of women.

CBS News reports that men are also much likelier than women to be cited for reckless driving. According to that study, men have a 3.1% greater chance of being ticketed for reckless driving than women.

While women may be less likely to engage in risky driving behaviors and drive fewer miles than men each year, there are several reasons why they have a slightly higher risk of accidents for each mile driven in a year than men. Since they drive fewer miles, they have less experience with navigating the dangers of the roads. Women also tend to be shorter than men, and they may have more trouble seeing oncoming vehicles when they are completing turns because of visual obstacles. Previously, there was a larger gap between the accident risks among younger drivers. However, that gap has been closing as more girls are driving while they are distracted by their cell phones. A study by the Insurance Journal found that females of all ages are much likelier to use their cell phones while they drive than men.

How both men and women can be safer when they drive

When taken together, the statistics demonstrate that both men and women need to take steps to improve the safety of their driving. Men should engage in less risky driving behavior and obey traffic laws to help to prevent accidents. They should never get behind the wheel after they have been drinking and should make certain that they get sufficient sleep every night to avoid driving while they are drowsy. Men should also avoid driving recklessly and violating speed limits.

Women should avoid driving while they are distracted by their cell phones and other electronic devices. When they get behind the wheel, they should turn their phones off so that they are not tempted by incoming texts or calls. Women might also work on building better defensive driving skills and to avoid inattentive driving. Like men, they also should avoid drunk driving, speeding, and reckless driving.

Both men and women can be at fault for accidents. People who have suffered serious injuries in accidents because of the actions of other drivers might want to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney at the California car accident law firm of Steven M. Sweat, Personal Injury Lawyers. We can analyze what happened in your accident and explain whether your claim has merits. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation by calling 310.592.0445.

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