AA Drive Confident research

Road crash figures reflect misplaced confidence among men

13 January 2011

Many road crashes involving male drivers reflect 'misplaced' confidence among men over their ability behind the wheel, according to new analysis for the AA's Drive Confident scheme.

Official figures show that men are nearly 70% more likely to be involved in a car crash than women.*

Yet women outnumber men nearly six-to-one among those who seek to improve their driving through confidence or refresher driver training, according to data from the AA Charitable Trust.

Only 15% of the 2000-plus who have put themselves forward for the charity's free Drive Confident refresher courses are male. Yet 86% of participants say Drive Confident has made them safer; and three-quarters say it has helped them improve aspects of their driving such as motorways, roundabouts, night driving and driving in bad weather.

Comment

The charity's director and AA President Edmund King says: "In road safety terms, a lot of confidence is not necessarily a good thing – unless it's grounded in sound skills and a safe attitude. Men are involved in two thirds more crashes than women. Male dominance in statistics for speeding, in particular, suggests that confidence can often outstrip skill – with potentially fatal consequences.

"Given the safety record of men versus women, it appears the confidence shown by many male drivers may be misplaced."

Male drivers

  • Men are involved in 70% more reported accidents than women (133,995 versus 79,670 in 2009)
  • Male drivers are almost one-and-a-half times more likely to have a driving conviction – most for speeding
  • Men are more than twice as likely to have a drink-drive conviction
  • There are more than twice as many road casualties amongst young men than young women
  • Men are outnumbered nearly six-to-one by women among those who seek to improve their driving through post-test confidence or refresher driver training

* Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2009 – Department for Transport, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government