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.