Forget the clichés about women being bad drivers. Statistics prove that in Israel women are involved in fewer accidents than men.
A study released for International Woman’s day by road safety advocacy group Or Yarok reveals that in 2009 women drivers were involved in only a quarter of car accidents in Israel and in 16 percent of severe and deadly accidents, despite constituting 50% of the driving population.
Based on numbers from the Central Bureau of Statistics, Or Yarok found that in the years 2007-2009, 39,000 women were injured in traffic accidents, making up 40% of the total injured. Most of the women were involved in the accidents either as passengers or pedestrians.
“Studies prove that there are considerable differences between men and women when it comes to driving patterns,” said Or Yarok director-general Shmuel Aboav. “Women tend to obey traffic laws, and their attitude towards them is more positive than then men’s. On average, men drive faster than women, overtake other vehicles more often, are more likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol and take more risks while driving.”
According to the study, women who live in Pardess Hanna-Karkur are involved in more accidents than in any other city in Israel. Between 2007-2009, 4.34 women for every thousand were involved in an accident.
Other cities where women were involved in accidents in relatively high rates are Hadera, Holon, Tel Aviv, Bat Yam and Kiryat Ata.
Among those who live in the large cities, Jerusalem women are involved in the fewest accidents. There are 375,000 women in Jerusalem, of whom 1,800 were involved in accidents between 2007-2009, equaling 1.61 accidents for every 1,000 women who live in the city. In Tel Aviv, on the opposite end of the spectrum, 3.81 women were involved in a car accident for every 1,000 who live in the city.
Or Yarok also found that in cities characterized as having an Arab or religious makeup, women are less likely to be involved in accidents.
The women of Modi’in Illit, Beitar Illit, Bnei Brak, Rahat and Umm el-Fahm are the least likely to be involved in car accidents. One of the reasons for the low accident rates by women in those places is the relatively low rate of women license holders.
“The conclusion from the studies is that we should be leveraging the fact that women are more cautious drivers to encourage women to take a bigger role in training youth drivers and use their calming effect to influence men,” said Aboav. “Their willingness to express opposition to unsafe driving may directly assist in improving men’s driving patterns and even encourage a safer attitude towards driving in general.”
“We have discovered that women drivers aged 16-20 have drastically lower chances of being involved in lethal accidents or accidents involving alcohol than their male counterparts,” said Orly Tsubari-Arad, project manager for Or Yarok’s Woman’s Drive program.
The program seeks to provide special training for young female drivers,
giving them tools to strengthen their self-image and social status so
they will influence dangerously driving males and produce an attitude
change that makes irresponsible driving unacceptable.
Israeli insurance companies have taken note of the statistics and some
companies have begun offering lower insurance premiums for women. AIG
Insurance, for example, launched a Lady AIG program, offering woman up
to 35% less than men on their insurance premiums.