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Findings revealed ahead of next year's new rules that will see women pay more for insurance...

A survey has found that male drivers are more than twice as likely than female ones to suffer an accident because they have been distracted at the wheel. The news comes in the wake of a landmark ruling earlier this year by the European Court of Justice, due to be implemented in the UK by the end of next year, that will make it illegal for insurance companies to differentiate between customers due to gender.

That means that insurance companies such as Sheila’s Wheels that target women with lower rates will no longer be able to do so, while women aged below 26 years are likely to face a hefty rise in motor insurance premiums to bring them into line with their male counterparts, despite the latter being the highest-risk group on the road in terms of accidents.

According to a survey carried out by Santander, with the results reported in the Daily Mail, 11 per cent of men admitted having had an accident as a result of being distracted while they were driving. That compares to just 5 per cent of women.

Men were also much more likely to have experienced a near-miss due to eating or drinking at the wheel or fiddling with the car stereo, at 30 per cent versus 20 per cent. Among the behaviour that drivers admitted led to their being distracted were using mobile phones, shaving, putting on make-up, reading books or maps, and kissing the passenger next to them in the front seat.

At 96 per cent, texting at the wheel was considered the most dangerous activity that could prevent a driver from concentrating on the road, yet one in five admitted to having done just that. Most respondents said that they became angry due to the behaviour of other motorists, yet three in four confessed to having become distracted themselves.

Colin Greenhill, director of Santander insurance, commented: “Clearly, motorists understand their risky behaviours are dangerous but many take their eyes off the road to do something other than driving. Concentrating on the road ahead is essential and drivers should adhere to this, regardless of how "important" their other task may be.”

 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

6 comments

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Kim [249 posts] 6 years ago
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"male rivers"?  3

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Simon_MacMichael [2477 posts] 6 years ago
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Well, rivers in Italian tend to be male (il Po, il Ticino, etc...)  3

Corrected, thanks for the spot.

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37monkey [138 posts] 6 years ago
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I don't understand the how the EU thinks that it is sexist to use data and research to assess the risk that various drivers present. surly the data and facts are plan to see. I hope this stupid ruling is appealed and overturned. By the way I'm a man.
 102 Whilst I'm having a bit of a rant, If I'm driving and see another motorist using a phone I beep my horn in the hope that the person they're talking too has a higher regard for the law, I shout as a pedestrian - which has only got me into bother once (a brief shouting match - the bother was from my girlfriend who was "soo embarrassed"). I don't draw attention when I'm cycling, bad pr and all that!

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thomase [16 posts] 6 years ago
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Being critical of the study....This doesn't mean men are more dangerous drivers, it just means that men are twice as likely to acknowledge they've been distracted behind a wheel.

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Simon_MacMichael [2477 posts] 6 years ago
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thomase wrote:

Being critical of the study....This doesn't mean men are more dangerous drivers, it just means that men are twice as likely to acknowledge they've been distracted behind a wheel.

Perhaps, but accident statistics do demonstrate that younger male drivers are much more likely to become involved in an accident than female drivers are. The gender gap narrows with age, but it's still there.

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thomase [16 posts] 6 years ago
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Simon_MacMichael wrote:
thomase wrote:

Being critical of the study....This doesn't mean men are more dangerous drivers, it just means that men are twice as likely to acknowledge they've been distracted behind a wheel.

Perhaps, but accident statistics do demonstrate that younger male drivers are much more likely to become involved in an accident than female drivers are. The gender gap narrows with age, but it's still there.

I thought the figures showed that both genders had an equal number of accidents, just male drivers will wipe out a small village, where as a female driver is more likely just to leave a little scratch?

Still, as the data is all qualitative my original criticism stands. It just shows that a greater percentage of men acknowledged that they've had an accident because they were distracted. I am not saying that the study is wrong, but it is limited in merit.

I know terrible drivers of both genders.