Insert your own tired women-are-bad-drivers comment here. And if you post this story on your Facebook page, get ready for a commenta-palooza.
Michael Sivak, the study's principal author and a research professor who studies human factors in car accidents, is hesitant to come out and say women are worse drivers than men. But since men drive more miles every day than women, the neighborhood sexist will have a field day with this little bit of data.
Using the General Estimate System data from a nationally representative sample of police-reported crashes, the researchers expected to find that male-to-male crashes would account for 36.2% of accidents, female-to-female would make up 15.8% and male-to-female would make up 48% of crashes.
Instead, they found female-to-female accidents made up 20.5% of all crashes, much higher than expected. Male-to-male crashes were lower than expected, at 31.9%, and male-to-female crashes were 47.6%.
Why the discrepancy? The study doesn't offer any hard reasons. Women and men may have different experiences with different driving scenarios, have different abilities to handle those scenarios, and may feel like there are different expectations on their behavior.
It's essentially a nature vs. nurture argument, saying gender stereotypes dominate driving behavior: In other words, men do most of the driving, and women, who ride along as passengers, are less experienced or confident -- thus prone to wrecks.