Are men more responsible for more car accidents as compared to women?
From statistics and studies, men are more responsible than women in car accidents. There are 3x more fatal car accidents involving men drivers vs female drivers, even though men only drove 1.6x more miles than women (16,550 miles on a year by men vs 10,142 women based on Federal Highway Administration).
Why is this so many may ask? Many factors contribute to this high percentage that is made up of men. Driving under the influence of alcohol, driving past the speed limit, and also age is a contributing factors. Studies have also shown that although women are less responsible for car accidents, they contribute to a higher percentage of increased injuries and risks in the vehicle.
Also simply because they drive more miles and are always on the road. Men tend to be more adventurous and excited as well. But of course, this does not mean that very few women cause car accidents as well. Drive safely on the road as you will not want to see yourself in any car accidents!
Well, this may be true to only a certain extent. Let us dive into this interesting topic.
Men vs Women in Car Accidents
The risk of dying in a car crash is higher for men than women, according to a study by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) which found that male drivers were three times as likely to be killed or seriously injured in an accident compared with their female counterparts.
A Traffic Safety Facts from NHTSA also found similar finding with in 2019 with 36,395 men fatal crash vs 12,884 women's fatal crash.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) also shown that
- Men made up 71% of driver deaths in a passenger vehicle,
- 48% of deaths as a passenger in a passenger vehicle,
- 96% of driver deaths in a large truck,
- 70% pedestrian deaths and
- 91% of motorcyclist deaths.
Men cause 6.1 million accidents annually, whereas women are responsible for 4.4 million (National Highway Safety Administration) while men travel 16,550 miles on an average year, while women travel 10,142 miles (Federal Highway Administration).
As you can see from the data above, men make up the majority and the higher percentage of car accidents.
Influence of Alcohol in Accident
Men tend to be heavier drinkers than women and have a higher and better tolerance. It is proven scientifically that the ability to dilute alcohol for women is lesser than that for men.
- A women’s average total body water is 52% whereas,
- for men, the average total body water is 61%.
This simply means that when the two genders drink, women will have a higher intake of pure alcohol as their body water percentage is lesser than men, hence, resulting in women getting drunk faster and more easily. Interesting, isn’t it?
Additionally, the ability to metabolize alcohol is different for men and women as well.
- Women have a smaller quantity of dehydrogenase (an enzyme that helps break down the alcohol) and
- men have a larger quantity of dehydrogenase.
Because of this, when women and men drink the same amount of alcohol, women will tend to get drunk faster, and men will continue to drink. This results in men becoming more drunk as they like to think that they can hold their alcohol well. Well… that is where they are very wrong.
Usually, after a night out of drinking, many people would have driven their car out to the bars and nightclubs to avoid paying hefty taxi prices or also because they have just ended work and are going for drinks with their colleagues.
- Men will usually be the ones that drive out and in the case that they have a partner with them, the partner will be in the passenger seat. So after drinking, they would have to drive their cars back home as they cannot possibly leave their cars at the bar. This is where drunk driving occurs and is one of the main contributing factors to car accidents and even deaths.
Risky Driving in Accident
Secondly, men are more likely to partake in very risky driving. They love to drive at a very high speed usually on average of about anywhere from 100km/h to 140km/h. Why risk their lives and drive at such high speed you may ask.
- Men usually are the more sporty and spontaneous gender and love the adrenaline of high-risk activities. To them, such dangerous acts can be seen as “cool” “fun” or “thrilling”.
- Men also love to race in their cars at dangerously high speeds. Take for example a group of male friends who are out for a drive on an empty and quiet road.
Their thoughts will run wild and the possibilities are endless to make their drive more exciting. Why? Because there are very few cars and traffic is steady so their initial thought is that racing will be safe. They will then proceed to race at an ungodly speed and that is where accidents will happen.
This is a very common cause of road accidents as I can ensure you that every week if you read the news or newspaper, you will see at least one topic on “27-year-old man dies from a car crash” or “35-year-old man crashed his car into roadworks and burst into flames”.
Sounds far too familiar, doesn't it…
- Men also tend to speed because they want to show off how fast their cars can go and what their cars are capable of.
- Women do tend to drive at high speed as well when they are in a rush to a certain somewhere, or they are more experienced in driving, or even just because they like the feeling of driving fast. But even so, women tend to be more careful and keep to the speed limit when driving.
Age In Accident
Lastly, age. Although this factor sounds like it does not make any sense at all, you’d be surprised that age does play a very important part as to why men cause more car accidents than women.
Studies have shown that men in general start to drive at a younger age than women. In America for example, once a male turns 16 years old, they would ask to get a driver’s license and start driving around.
- The male’s parents would most of the time allow them to do so as learning how to drive at a young age is good practice and also the male’s parents will think that their son is capable of taking care of their own.
- When it comes to a young girl, the girl’s parents are more likely to be less willing to let them drive at a young age as they are afraid that the girl may be too nervous or lack the skill to drive carefully. So, when young male starts to drive at a young age, they tend to be overly excited and experimental and are always seeking to try new things.
They may engage in activities such as speeding and doing certain car tricks such as drifting. The younger generation will tend to be more prone to causing and getting into car accidents because of their inexperience and unnecessary excitement. But as the saying goes, “boys are boys”.