Men Break More Traffic Laws

You might call it an old-school attitude, that men are fundamentally different than women, but now a new study draws that same conclusion, at least when it comes to driving. The recently released proprietary findings of a study by Quality Planning, the ISO company that validates policyholder information for auto insurers, reveal dramatic differences in the number and type of traffic violations committed by men versus women. The findings show that when it comes to traffic laws, women are far more observant of them than men and that the laws violated more frequently by men are those laws designed to safeguard people and property. One conclusion that could be drawn from a minute analysis of the data is men suck.

If you want evidence that men are bigger risk-takers behind the wheel than women are, look no farther than the finding that men are cited for reckless driving 3.41 times more than women. Reckless driving is considered one of the most serious traffic offenses by the justice system, since it implies a disregard for the rights and safety of persons or property. But that wasn’t the only driving-related violation that men commit far more often than women (or cocker spaniels, for that matter). Men are also much more likely to be cited for driving under the influence (3.09 times more than women), seatbelt violations (3.08 times), speeding (1.75 times) and stop sign and signal violations (1.54 times.) Arguably the most surprising statistic was that men were 1.54 times more likely to exhibit a “failure to yield,” because my wife, for one, is well-noted for her failure to yield, no matter what I say or how much I beg.  But perhaps we’re getting too personal here.

How did we arrive at this data? Quality Planning analyzed 12 months’ worth of 2007 policyholder information for U.S. drivers, comparing the number of moving and non-moving violations for both men and women. Overall, the data shows that men are much more likely to receive a traffic citation than women, and that this difference in driving behavior is consistent across all age groups, though children under 10 don’t do much driving.

“We were not surprised to see that men have slightly more -- about 5+ percent -- violations that result in accidents than women,” said Dr. Raj Bhat, president of Quality Planning. “And because men are also more likely to violate laws for speeding, passing and yielding, the resulting accidents caused by men lead to more expensive claims than those caused by women.”

Interestingly, women drivers were also about 27 percent less likely than men to be found at fault when involved in an accident. This again underscores the finding that women are, on average, less aggressive and more law-abiding drivers -- attributes that also translate to fewer accidents.

So what do they want from us, a medal?