To celebrate International Women’s Day last week, global pioneer of telematics insurance insurethebox has published data that shows women are the superior drivers in the battle of the sexes on the road.
insurethebox analysis of over 4.5 billion miles of driving data compared the genders to reveal that women are safer drivers, especially when it comes to speeding, where men are almost twice as likely (46%) to speed than women. Younger drivers (17-25) are the biggest culprits, with young men speeding 55% more than young women. Among the youngest drivers the gap is even bigger, with 17 year old men speeding 76% more than women of the same age.
Women are also safer when it comes to driving at night. insurethebox data shows that driving in the dark is significantly more dangerous than driving when visibility is clear, and that young men drive 28% more than women during these hours. An insurethebox telematics policy includes Accident Alerts which use a number of data factors to assess a driver’s possible involvement in a collision to trigger a call to the driver or emergency services. Nearly a quarter (23%) of insurethebox Accident Alerts happen between midnight and 5am, even though only 4% of road use is between these hours.
Meanwhile, insurethebox rewards good driving with bonus miles – and its women drivers earn 9% more bonus miles than men. Young women between 17 and 25 are rewarded with 11% more bonus miles compared to men in the same age group due to their safer driving. However, as drivers get older the gap closes. On average, women aged 41-80 earn the same number of bonus miles as men in that age range. Overall, insurethebox customers earn 59 bonus miles per month on average.
insurethebox analysis also highlights regional gender differences in road safety. Men in Scotland are the biggest culprits of speeding. This contrasts with women in the East of England who are the least likely to speed. 20 year old Scottish men in particular are four times more likely to speed than women of all ages in the East of England.
Naomi Little, General Manager Communications, insurethebox, commented: “Speed is the single biggest contributor to driving risk – and the one thing that every driver has control over – yet it seems to be the biggest differentiator between young women and men driving safely. Men can #balanceforbetter by taking their foot off the pedal.
“insurethebox data shows that drivers who speed 20% of the time increase their risk of having an accident by 87%. This is partly because when driving at excessive speeds drivers have less time to react to any unexpected hazards. No matter who’s driving, drivers need to give themselves the time to make every journey a safe one.”
insurethebox uses individual driver data to determine the risk profile of each policyholder through a telematics black box installed in the vehicle. It shares driving data with each customer through a personalised online portal, empowering them to manage their driving habits in order to reduce their insurance risk profile – and therefore their premiums. insurethebox policies offer an initial 6,000, 8,000 or 10,000 miles of cover and bonus miles can be earned for good driving behaviour.
Insurance Edge Comment;
You can never argue with facts of course, but always question the agenda that facts are made to fit, whether it be climate change, speeding or `bad’ diets.
insurthebox are right to highlight the data behind driving habits, regional variations and gender differences, particularly over speed. Men, young men especially are risk-takers. It could be drug taking at festivals, making You Tube video clips of themselves atop high buildings, or riding a bicycle between vehicles in London at night, without lights and dressed in black clothing. All high risk behaviour.
But here’s another set of facts. Road accidents have declined to 170,000 reported incidents. The lowest level EVER. In 1979 exactly 6,352 people died in road accidents. In 2017 that figure was 1793. We now have 37 million vehicles registered for legal road use across Britain and in 1983 that figure was just 20 million.
More cars should mean more accidents, but the data doesn’t tell that story. In fact, the reverse is true and road accidents have dropped by a huge percentage when the dramatic rise in vehicle ownership is taken in the equation.
This decline over the last decade because of two primary factors; safer vehicles and a huge rise in traffic volumes in urban environments. Depending which survey you believe traffic speeds in London are now about 5-7mph, while TfL research found a 15% rise in cycling to work in 2017. Londoners are giving up on car commuting en masse. Commuting is still seen by the insurance industry as a risky type of driving, but the reality is that we are all increasingly crawling along at bicycle speeds, and the accidents which do occur tend to be low speed, and therefore don’t cause serious injuries.
If you type in fatal road crash to Google you see patterns of incidents which make uncomfortable reading for politicians and academics who fear being witch-hunted on social media. Hit and run crashes involving illegal drivers, incidents caused by those who are uninsured, no UK driving test qualification, or high on drugs. These fatal or serious crashes often occuring late at night.
This is not the full story by any means, but it is a large part of the road accident landscape. If you choose to look for it, you can find a boy racer culture happening any weekend after 10pm. When boys race on the public roads, bad crashes occur sooner or later.
There is another factor at play when it comes to gender imbalance; Women find certain parts of Britain lack visible policing, which puts women off driving in those areas, or taking public transport. Those who state this blunt truth are frequently crucified on Twitter or Facebook, but it is there for all with open minds to see.
Finally, our way of life has fundamentally changed and we are not such a car-centric culture as say 25 years ago. That too is a reason why accidents have fallen – the young men who would take risks, race each other, or drive at night cannot engage in this activity – it is beyond their take home pay. The under 25s often simply cannot afford to buy and run a car, plus pay the rent, council tax, utility bills, gig tickets, new trainers etc.
In some ways, that changing lifestyle is a good thing and has probably saved 1000 lives a year. Men and women.