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Women in Yorkshire & the Humber are ‘safer’ drivers than men, and here is why…

Male drivers accounted for 80% of motoring offences in Yorkshire & the Humber in 2017

Are men or women safer drivers? The age-old debate has raged across the dashboard since driving licences were introduced in 1903 – and the confusion has finally been cleared up.

New data obtained by Confused.com has found that women in Yorkshire & the Humber are in fact safer drivers than men, despite female motorists across the country having been wrongly accused of being ‘bad drivers’ for many years. And this conclusion comes from an analysis of car insurance data in the region, as well as recorded motoring offences in the region – the majority of which were committed by men(1).

The gender gap in 100 drivers is brought to you by Confused.com.

According to the data, 77,122 drivers across Yorkshire & the Humber appeared in court for motoring offences in 2017. But men are the worst culprits, accounting for a staggering 61,706 (80%) of the offences, compared to 15,416 women.

Over the course of last year, drivers in Yorkshire & the Humber appeared in court for dozens of different motoring offences, including speeding, driving while disqualified, and theft. However, looking at the data in more detail, there seems to be one area in particular which saw a particularly high number of offenders. West Yorkshire accounted for the most number of offences in the region, with 49,301 motorists appearing in court to hear their fate(1). And it may not come as a surprise to learn that men were once again the worst offenders, outweighing women almost four to one. In total, 38,705 male motorists reportedly broke the law on the road, compared to just 10,596 women.

But The Gender Gap in 100 Drivers animation created by Confused.com proves that it isn’t just drivers in Yorkshire & the Humber who are challenging the law. Visualising the drivers as 100 dots, the animation weighs up just how many men and women have committed a motoring offence in England and Wales, from speeding to drink-driving, to driving with no tax or insurance, with men proving to be the bigger lawbreakers. Not only this, but it also proves that male drivers across the UK are more likely to make a claim on their insurance than female drivers.

And the riskier driving behaviour displayed by men has cost them dearly over the years. According to Confused.com’s Q2 car insurance price index, UK male drivers have paid £3,327 more than women for car insurance over the past decade, on average.

  •  Male drivers accounted for 80% of motoring offences in Yorkshire & the Humber in 2017
  • More than 77,000 drivers appeared in court for motoring offences in Yorkshire & the Humber in 2017 – and almost 62,000 of these were men.
  • West Yorkshire saw the highest number of motoring offences in the region in 2017, with almost 39,000 men and almost 11,000 women in the area appearing in court of breaking the law on the road
  • The Gender Gap in 100 Drivers animation reveals why men across the UK are more likely to have higher car insurance costs – having forked out £3,327 more than women over the past decade(3).

Insurers base the cost of a driver’s car insurance on the risk of them making a claim using historical claims information available to them. However, a growing concern about men being charged more for their car insurance than women resulted in the EU Gender Directive coming into force in 2012, prohibiting insurers from rating solely on a driver’s sex. Prior to this, men were paying up to £121 more for their car insurance (Q4 2011- UK average). This has had a positive impact on the industry as insurers have had to become cleverer about how they analyse the risk of a driver making a claim, rather than relying on gender as a default.

However, even though insurers no longer take a driver’s gender into account when calculating the cost of their car insurance, when you look at the difference in the average premium between men and women, male drivers are still paying more.

And The Gender Gap in 100 Drivers clears up why this might be. In fact, it proves men are almost four times more likely to commit a motoring offence than women. In total, more than 585,000 drivers in England and Wales were taken to court for breaking the law on the road in 2017, of which the majority (79%) were men – outnumbering women almost 4:1(1). In particular, almost one in four (23%) of these offences were men with a heavy foot slapped with a speeding ticket. While almost one in 15 (7%) were women who committed the same offence. Men also outweigh women 5:1 when it came to drink-driving offences, and 2:1 for driving without tax or insurance(1).

And it seems male drivers across the UK have cost insurers more money when it comes to claims pay-outs, suggesting they have been in more accidents than women. In 2017, two out of three (65%) insurance claims were made by men, of which 17% were fault claims. In comparison, more than one in three (35%) claims last year came from women – 9% of which were at fault. And not only do men make more claims, they also tend to be a little more expensive too. Data held by Confused.com suggests that UK male drivers claimed on average £3,271 per pay out, while women’s were slightly cheaper at £3,121(5). This could be down to the fact that men often own more expensive cars. In fact, further research by Confused.com found that men own cars with an average value of £8,654. While women are driving around in cars with a lower value of £7,090 – a whopping £1,563 difference. And this alone will reduce the price of car insurance.

Not only this, but men are more likely to have bad driving habits. For example, almost one in four (23%) male motorists admit to not indicating when switching lanes, compared to more than one in six (17%) women. And men are more likely to tailgate another driver (12%), compared to women (7%). However, there are some bad habits which are more common among women, including eating while driving (48% vs. 47%), and driving in bare feet (12% vs. 6%).

While the research clearly shows women are ‘better’ drivers, this could be down to the fact that they had more practice, as it took them longer to receive their licence. The Gender Gap in 100 Drivers animation reveals more women took their driving test than men in 2017, although, fewer passed. Of all the learner drivers who took their test last year, 23% of those who passed were female, compared to 24% of men(6). And it seems female drivers struggled to get their licence first time around, with just one in 10 (10%) passing first time (compared to 11% men).

Men across the UK will be relieved to know the gap has slowly been closing between what they pay for car insurance compared to women. One year ago (July 2017) the gap reached a whopping £120 – the biggest difference since before the EU Gender Directive was announce in March 2012 (£121 in December 2011). However, as male drivers remain to be the worst offenders on the road, it’s unlikely we’ll see the gap close completely for years to come.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, says: “Many men are under the impression they are ‘better’ drivers than women. However, our research clears up the age-old debate – women are less likely to commit a motoring offence or make a claim, meaning they pay less for their car insurance.

“Regardless of whether men or women are paying more for car insurance, it’s an unavoidable cost which is making motoring less and less affordable. Drivers should cut through the clutter of car insurance chaos by shopping around and comparing the best deals using a site like Confused.com.”

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