Women drivers have fewer accidents, including serious accidents, and also commit fewer motoring offences, according to the latest study by the road traffic institute Vias.
The study was prepared to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March.
“There are a lot of prejudices going around when it comes to women behind the wheel,” the institute says.
“On this international day for women, Vias has made a new analysis, from which it appears that women take fewer risks than men when driving, and are less likely to be involved in serious accidents.”
The statistics show that women make up 44% of minor injuries resulting from accidents, but only 34% of serious injuries, and 23% of fatalities.
“That comes about because by nature they drive more carefully,” Vias concludes.
According to other figures, accidents involving at least one woman driver as two times less likely to involve a fatality than those involving a male driver. There are 10 deaths for every 1,000 accidents involving a woman driver, compared to 19 involving a male driver.
Women make up 43% of all accident victims, whether driver, passenger or pedestrian. However the number drops to 37% for drivers alone. At the same time, women passengers are 63% of all killed or injured passengers.
“That comes about partly because men are more likely to be the driver than women,” Vias says.
Another reason for the lower presence of women in accident statistics is the lower likelihood of them using certain modes of transport.
For example, women account for only 11% of injuries among motorcycle users and 3% of drivers or passengers in lorries. On the other hand, they make up 61% of injuries of bus and coach passengers, and 52% of injured pedestrians.
Men are four times more likely to give a positive breath test than women – 4% compared to 1% at a routine check. When tested after an accident, on the other hand, men prove to be driving under the influence in 11% of cases, compared to 5% for women.
Women, finally, are also less likely to be fined for a motoring offence. In cases where a fine is immediately payable at the scene, 63% of cases are men. In cases where the matter goes before a police tribunal, men represent 76% of four drivers punished.
The Brussels Times