Men vs women drivers – the gap in confidence is closing

It’s a debate (almost) as old as the wheel itself – who’s the better driver, men or women? Or rather who thinks they are the better driver?

It may come as no surprise, or perhaps it does, that according to a recent AA Insurance Driver Survey, men remain more confident in their ability behind the wheel than women. However, their confidence is slipping.

The survey, which asked 1,014 Kiwis to rate their own driving and parking ability, found men had actually lost a little confidence in both categories since last year. Their confidence in driving dipped from 96 to 94 per cent over 12 months, while their parking confidence dropped from 93 to 89 per cent.

Women, on the other hand, remained as confident in their parking as they were last year at 78 per cent. However, their driving confidence was boosted - from 90 to 92 per cent - and began to close the gap between the genders.

But why are men losing confidence? There may be several reasons, such as age, the number of cars now on the road, or less time spent driving; 69 per cent of Kiwis now drive everyday compared to 75 per cent last year. And more people are now driving only a few times a week, which could be the result of a change of lifestyle, work habits or an uptake in public transport.

But hold the phone! Men are still more confident in their own driving abilities than they are their partner’s. Only 15 per cent rated their partner’s driving as excellent, while 36 per cent rated their own as excellent. Conversely, around a third of women rated their partner’s ability higher than their own. This is despite men being more likely to have had an accident (71 per cent) than women (64 per cent).

This just goes to show that no matter what your level of confidence, accidents can and do happen, so it really pays to have some form of insurance to protect your vehicle, as well as your back pocket.

What to do in the event of an accident:

  • Check that everybody involved in the collision is okay and call the emergency services if necessary

  • Move the vehicle(s) out of traffic if it’s safe to do so

  • Take a picture of the scene with a camera or your phone, or write the details down

  • Make sure you get the other driver’s correct registration number, name and contact number or address details

  • Contact your insurer and provide as much information as you can

  • Don’t try to settle the claim yourself – leave it to your insurer

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