Women Drivers

Lots of my stories will probably start off with the explanation that being a parent changes you. It is true. Being a dad to a little girl is an extra layer for a dad. I see myself every day in a female form and it makes me think about how they will be viewed in the world. How will the world treat them different than I would have been treated? There are definitely moments that bring tears to my eyes.

For instance, we were all watching a super awesome but somehow depressing show called American Ninja Warrior. The contestants run through an obstacle course like magical fitness hamsters and are rewarded for endurance, strength, and being taller than other people. Women are particularly ill-suited for this game because several of the obstacles favor people who are close to six feet tall. One episode we watched a former gymnast, who was five feet nothing, go through the same course as the men and even put a few of them to shame. She was the first woman to complete the curved wall but she continued to beat the course. My girls were watching and they turned to me with wide eyes when it was over and said, “Wow dad! Did you see what that girl did?” I got a little choked up. I did see and it hit me hard that anyone would be amazed by what women are capable of. They are truly amazing creatures and definitely the better half of whatever poor slob they agree to marry.

I hope that my girls grow up with the strong will and determination that will erase any sexist limits to their success. I encourage them to work really hard on the areas where differences can be easily pointed out. Be better than men in these areas so you push the bar the other direction.

For example, areas such as Driving a Car.

Women are just not as good at this one task and the world knows it. They could be I suppose, I just don’t see it. Look at the Allstate commercial where the man and woman are having lunch and he is amazed that she got a reward check for no incidents. Why would they use that situation in a national commercial? Because the world knows that women don’t focus as well at driving? You tell me. Nobody mention Danica Patrick either, she is the Anna Kournikova of racing.

As a group, women don’t seem to plan ahead and prepare for turns, lane changes, or even driving because of texting, talking, or doing makeup. Then they glare and wonder what the other driver is thinking. If you are a woman who is saying, “That is ridiculous and I am a woman and I am the best driver I know!” You are probably my target audience. Women who think they are excellent drivers usually are the worst. It is like being the oddball in a group. Every group has one and if you can’t think of who it is then it is probably you. (Except for my group, I don’t think we have one.)

I’m not talking about all ladies but a good 75% scare the crap out of me. None more so than a few who are near and dear to my heart. There are some differences in men and women that are fundamental and important to understand. Some mechanics of how we operate may explain part of the driving difference.

First let’s consider men. We focus really well on one thing. I don’t mean just one subject but more like whatever has our attention has our full attention. There is no multi-tasking that is worth a damn. If we are watching a football game and the kids are saying, “Daddy, daddy, Daddy, daddyyyyyyy!” We seriously don’t hear it. At. All. I know if I am reading a good book or daydreaming about sandwiches, everything else (all my senses) goes away. Men put incoming information together in our brain and prioritize subconsciously. So a man sitting on the couch with football and yapping kids will subconsciously pick football. Notice if someone gets hurt and screams the man will jump up instantly. This translates well to driving most of the time because priority in our brains is given to driving. It is thinking about movement and action and danger.

Women are champs at multi-tasking. They can hear what three people are saying while cooking and talking about what to do for so-and-so’s birthday. The chaos that drowns a man’s brain is all part of the ride for a woman’s. Everything is given equal priority. Therefore, while driving, a woman may be more likely to do her makeup or read a novel (I have seen this so don’t try and deny it). The red light or stopped car ahead is given just as much priority as the interesting billboard or talking on the phone.

Don’t get all bent out of shape. Especially, if you are driving at this very moment. Put the iPhone down and come back to this article. It will still be here. Look at the road!

The driving record within my own family supports this theory, overwhelmingly. My own sweet wife, Supermom, admitted to me early on that she believes in this stereotype as true 80% of the time. A good example story for her: When we were still dating we had just left her house one day and she was driving. She veered too far right and almost ran off the road. I mentioned her lacking some certain driving skills and she turned to look at me and berate me for suggesting such a thing. The only problem is that she turned with her head and her hands too. We were once again almost in the ditch. I think that was the day I took over as primary driver..

I put Prima on an electric Power Wheels type car and she didn’t get the concept that the steering wheel affected her direction. She kept the wheel turned completely to the left, foot down on the pedal, and rode in circles with zero regard for mail boxes or other drivers. You should all be terrified that she will be on the road one day. I know I am.

I have four future bad drivers and I really want to explore this issue. I need to know if there is anything I can do or practice with them to help the driving skills

Feel free to post and help me out.

Also, I the interest of fairness I did do a little research and found that the accident rate is about the same overall. Men are more likely to have an accident before age twenty five because of aggressive driving. Women are more likely to have an accident because of…SQUIRREL!

-Underdaddy to the rescue.

30 comments

  1. When you said a good 75 percent out there scare you, I laughed out loud.

    I know a woman that I just can not ride with because she tailgates, speeds and had three accidents in less than a year. One of which, she was sitting in a turn lane, not even moving. And if I do ride with her, I’m normally pumping the imaginary break trying to slow down or stop so I can get out.

    Good post. Very accurate. I’ll have to read more, but I like what I’ve read thus far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL! That was really well said. Women do tend to like to multi-task and we are less likely to focus in on just one thing. That is definitely not a good thing when driving. It’s kind of funny, I know this so well, I made dad teach all our kids to drive. I’m not crazy enough to get in a car with any of them. It turned out very well however, he did a good job of terrifying them into remembering to always remain focused 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Males like to think about female drivers as the clowns of the roads. 😀 If concerned with the safety of your kids, first take a look at the statistics of U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System.
    You can be sure, the opposite gender has superior sensory system and in majority of cases cognitive capabilities for safe driving. Motory system has all to perform as we do! If anything can disturb peaceful and normal traffic is a testosterone juiced brain male who is evolutionarily prepared to scan environment for enemy and to take an immediate risk to fight any saber-tooth tiger that is threatening his tribe.
    When time comes I’d certainly provide very special driving program for my kids no matter if they are gals or boys. That’s very important.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa Whoa Whoa, We are ignoring facts and figures around here. Mainly because I have wrecked more cars and gotten more tickets than my wife and that doesn’t fit into the theme I’m shooting for here. I am good at scanning and seeing threats, I don’t have the instinct to attack but I do apply the brakes or steer to avoid in a catlike manner.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My mom is an excellent driver. She never multitasks while driving. And I would say that in comparison to what you’ve said, her focus on one task during any occasion is commendable.

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    1. And by the way, I know a man who talks on the phone while driving. I wanted to say something, but my horseback riding trainer was in the car and trusts him, so I kept my mouth shut. Good thing we were only driving down a short street to my house. I hate it when he drives. So careless. I feel like the truck’s going to tip over.

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      1. Everyone knows women are the winners in the battle of the sexes. Can we at least have driving. You girls out think us, out negotiate us, and even out live us. Heck whatever accidents women have, I’m sure it was a man’s fault somehow. 🙂 I’ll behave from now on.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And what makes you think you deserve to have driving? I’ve seen a man break the *law* and talk to his guy friends on the phone while behind the wheel, and never in my life have I seen a woman do such a thing! All right, there was that time in the parking lot, but it was a *parking lot*! She wasn’t going anywhere! 😉

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      3. I said nothing about deserve. I was groveling. *hangs head in defeat* You must live far away from the South, EVERYONE is on the phone the entire time. Driving, not driving, showering probably. What else would you need a water case for besides the toilet right? Seriously though, last week I had to wait at a green light for the three drivers around me to realize the light had changed. It should be illegal here.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Fine. I’ll give you driving for your area of the country. Does southern California count for the South? I really hope not. Because that would make me blind. 😉

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      5. Ack that means you have Florida! I have a female friend there…a young one who doesn’t drive yet! I hope we haven’t just spelled out an unfortunate prophecy!

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  5. I think you pretty much nailed it, Underdaddy. At least in my experience it’s mostly true that woman are genectically wired to multi-task and men to hyper-focus. And now thanks to you I no longer consider it ignoring or tuning out. The Rock will be so pleased!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could help. Supermom has a protocol before she can be angry. She must punch me in the arm, say my name forcefully, and then to the look me in the eyes hand signal like on “Meet the Fockers”. That gets me tuned in to her and she has a window to get the info out before I go back to something else. It works but my arm is killing me.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love it when the bitch on the GPS yells at my husband when he’s driving. There’s just something so right about that! I have vowed never to drive him again unless he’s dead.

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  7. My husband would agree. Anytime he criticizes another driver on the road, he says “her” or “she”, and if we pull even and see the driver, it’s pretty much always accurate. And that is pretty scientific, it is a very large sample group. He is certainly the better driver between the two of us and his driving skills even saved our lives when I was pregnant with our first child, so I’m inclined to be more than grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

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