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Breaking: Men Are Terrified Of Women Behind The Wheel

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Mothers: remember the first time your son took you for a spin after he'd gotten his driver's license? Remember how you strapped yourself into the passenger's seat like Sally Ride heading into orbit, then braced yourself against the dashboard when your son got within 100 yards of a stop sign? Well, this may come as some surprise, but all that mishegas that probably made your son a little nervous. And according to a new survey, you don't make men any calmer when it's your turn to drive.

OnePoll.com asked 3,000 men about their feelings toward women drivers. About 20% of those surveyed said that they aren't able to relax when their wife or girlfriend is behind the wheel. One in ten of those men has even had to grab the steering wheel because he believed they were in danger of having an accident. And an astonishing 20% say they've argued with their better half about her driving skills. (We say "astonishing" because the number seems awfully small, given the couples that we know.)

But women, before you get too defensive, please consider this:

1. This isn't new. Bashing women drivers was popular long before Gertrude Stein slid behind the wheel (and never learned to drive in reverse because, she said, what's the point?), and it's not likely to die out anytime soon. Run a Google image search on "man distracted driving", and you'll see that the first pics to pop up are actually of women. Typical. That doesn't mean the criticisms are fair or warranted, but at least they shouldn't come as a surprise.

2. The survey was conducted by OnePoll.com, which means that it wasn't exactly scientific. OnePoll is sort of like a social networking site for people who like to take polls. (Yes, apparently those people do exist.) Users sign up, take polls, and have the potential to earn cash in the process. That's not what we'd call a "representative sample", and frankly, we're a little surprised that no one at the Telegraph called that into question. Theoretically, those folks are journalists.

3. There's no data about where the 3,000 respondents were from -- or, since the survey was administered online, whether they were all men. However, since OnePoll is based in the UK, we're guessing that most of the folks who took the survey live across the pond. That should be of some comfort to women in America, because the men over here love and respect the women drivers in their lives. Even if you did make our adolescences a living hell, mom.

[Telegraph via Vik]

 
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Comments (11)
  1. Driving is one of those classic power dynamics with couples, like who gets to control the remote, etc.
     
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  2. More terrifying: Twenty-something blond girls on the phone behind the wheel of a Civic or Yaris or Fit who clearly have no idea what that weird little spinny thing that says MHP or MPH or something means. I have been passed at *more than 90 mph* by girls on phones who have NO IDEA how fast they're driving. None. Nada. Zip. HORRIFYING.
     
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  3. well, seems like sexism is alive and well. how about some ageism. assuming these polls would not be too kind to 16 year olds and 70+ years olds.
     
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  4. Oh, it's one of those silly battles over the sexes. All in good fun, I say.
     
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  5. Not surprised about the results.
     
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  6. I'm so scared when my sister drives. It seems like she's so distracted all the time. But at the end of the day she's never had an accident or a fine--and that's with 10 years of driving! I wish I could say the same.
     
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  7. Gertrude Stein may never have driven in reverse, but I bet she made continual circles around the block.
     
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  8. If women were worse than men at driving, their insurance rates would be higher. But who has the highest rates? Young men.
     
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  9. @mike
    That's also because most insurance companies stereotype young male drivers to get into more accidents because they're more reckless. Think about it; who do you think would be the most likely to street race?
    Unfortunately, that really sucks for the few young male drivers like me who would never race, but still have to deal with higher insurance rates. (Fortunately, where I live doing that sort of ageism/sexism thing is actually illegal.)
    As for the article itself, I'd believe it, but not because of the reasons stated. Most men seem to have a desire for dominance, which, of course, includes driving the car. When taken out of that dominant position, they become nervous. It's not the fact that the woman is driving that scares them. It's the fact that they're not in the driver's seat. That's how I see it, anyway.
     
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  10. @ Matthew, last week I was being tailgated at 80mph by a female in her early 20s while she seas on the phone and doing her makeup.
     
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  11. Mike, I would respectifuly disagree. Insurance rates are not based on who is better at driving. They are based upon risk which at first may sound the same, but is very different. A females accident is typicaly less severe and thus less costly.
     
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