Did you hear the one about the woman and the busted minivan? A new study of car crashes implies that women are actually worse drivers than men, with the numbers to back it up.
According to a University of Michigan study of 6.5 million car crashes, an “inordinate number” of accidents happen when both drivers are women. Researchers found that accidents in which both drivers are female made up 20.5% of all crashes, a number much higher than expected. Male-male crashes were lower than expected, at 31.9%, and male-female crashes made up 47.6% of accidents.
Unsurprisingly, few experts are willing to comment on the study. AOL posits that it’s “essentially a nature vs. nurture argument…Men do most of the driving, and women, who ride along as passengers, are less experienced or confident—thus prone to wrecks,” while others point to a 2004 study that said almost the complete opposite, that 94 percent of accidents causing death or bodily harm involved male drivers.
The study doesn’t give a cold, hard reason for the women-centric crashes. It suggests that the crashes could be the result of women generally being shorter than men, since many modern car place their windows at a higher level. The leader of the study, Michael Sivak, wouldn’t go so far as to say that women are categorically worse drivers than men. “There are three dominant driver-related factors,” he said, “including the probability of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, one’s own driving skills and the driving skills of the other driver involved.”