Buckle up: Women can drive too!

Published: July 30, 2012

Women are just not good at driving a car (or at least, that’s how the stereotype goes). An extensive BBC research suggests that women’s ‘lack of hormones’ could be a strong reason why they are able to judge the road with more accuracy than men. 

Feminism strongly retaliates against this notion by stating that this belief is only a byproduct of male chauvinism in the society.

To settle this dispute, we decided to ask female and male drivers about their experiences behind the wheel.

I started off with the most obvious question that is on everyone’s mind:

Do you think men are better drivers than women?

Even though the women took a diplomatic approach to this question, stating that women are just as good, men were incredibly harsh with their responses:

“Of course men are better drivers than women!”

Or:

“Women don’t drive well because driving a car involves a ‘logical’ approach to it.”

The second answer struck a chord not only with my female coworker but, I, myself was taken aback by it. I strongly disagree with any form of biological inferiority when it comes to different genders (or races for that matter).

Would you feel comfortable in the passenger seat with a female driver?

“Absolutely not!” replied the male driver quite bluntly.

For my male subjects, the reason was simple; women lack confidence. They cannot make decisions on their own and keep pestering them to instruct what to do next. But the other male subject was subsequently less harsh this time around, stating that:

“If I know the driver personally and have experienced her driving skills then I’m comfortable”.

One of the female drivers brought an interesting notion to the forefront. She admitted that whenever female driving skills are good, people state:

“She’s as good as a male driver!”

This statement enhances the notion of ‘women can’t drive’ further into obscurity.

Have there been any bad experiences that you might have encountered with female drivers?

Women drivers mostly responded with a ‘yes’, but one of them also clarified:

“Whenever women get into a car accident, everything is blown out of proportion.”

I full heartily agree with this statement but have also had my share of bad driving experiences with female drivers.

To end the segment, I had one more question in mind;

Do you think women becoming better drivers is the answer?

A simple answer from women:

“Everyone needs to become a better driver.”

The male sought out a different answer to this by clarifying that many women feel pressured by their male counterparts, which discourages them to continue driving, and improving in the near future.

I, however, feel that if a driver is able manoeuvre a car well, he/she qualifies as a good driver, regardless of their gender.

Read more by Jibran here. 

Jibran.Khan

Jibran Khan

An independent filmmaker who has worked on numerous short films and has taught Film Theory at Szabist University. Currently he is studying Media Arts and Design at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ThroneOfThorns

    The only place where women have confidence is in the kitchen.Recommend

  • http://www.tanzeel.wordpress.com Tanzeel

    Women drive cars like the way Zardari drives this country. Recommend

  • chauvinist

    @ThroneOfThorns

    not even there, because the best chef in the world are men.

    As far driving is concerned, women are bad drivers.. i have seen women crying even at minor accidents….they cant change flat tires… they will leave the car and get a taxi if it doesn’t start at third try….they cant push start the car….they don’t know how to use battery jumper cable….. they wont notice if engine is getting heated, until the engine gets smoky..Recommend

  • Bilal Malik

    The real misogynistic,hate filled mentality of pakistani males is amply on display in the blog and the comments.Then we scream and complain of how bad the west treats women,first we should look at how horribly we treat pakistani women ourselves.The amount of bigotry directed towards women in our society is sickening.
    No self-respecting girl should ever put up with such cavemen.Things will only change when women refuse to be treated as second class citizens.As long as our women allow our men to mistreat them,things will not change.Men keep on doing such things because they know no woman will stand against their bigotry.Recommend

  • http://nirmukta.com/author/sunil-dmonte/ Sunil D’Monte

    It’s sad that this kind of ignorant thinking is still prevalent amongst people who see themselves as “logical”. They’ve obviously never heard of Stereotype Threat for example. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/11/18/the-joke-isnt-funny-its-harmful/ And they haven’t thought about what they’re saying. Are they saying that ALL women are worse drivers than ALL mean? Do they not realise that there are far MORE differences in skill levels WITHIN men and WITHIN women? And that skill levels are a function of ability, environment, training, experience, and all that is before you take into account the bigotry of some people against women who drive (hence the stereotype threat)? And hence, how is “male drivers” vs. “female drivers” even a useful distinction to think about? Should we investigate “straight drivers” vs. “gay drivers” also? It’s just bias and bigotry and the people who have them will cherry-pick at any little shred of “evidence” that confirms those biases. Embarrassing.Recommend

  • Saira

    Typical male chauvinistic mindset exposed here.In our culture women are inherently thought of as inferior beings,less intelligent,less competent then men.sexism and misogyny are part of our society and women in pakistan have come to accept that they are inferior to men,they don’t counter,they don’t confront misogynists.Recommend

  • Sidra Khan

    The non-muslim men in the West treat their women a million times better than how women are treated here.They have strict laws protecting women’s rights and laws and policies against gender discrimination and bigotry.Women are treated as equals from the workplace to home and in the eyes of the law.Our men should learn a thing or two from western men on not being misogynistic.Recommend

  • Reemz

    I’ve seen many accidents on the road. Most of them have! men involved which results into a “phadda.” Sunil D’Monte and Bilal Malik you two are the only ones who have posted something sensible. The rest of the people commenting above were just not raised well. Men VS Women? Seriously guys? Grow up.Recommend

  • Maryam

    Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” ~Clare Boothe Luce

    Enough Said!Recommend

  • Hey Nonnie Nonnie

    Insurance companies give cheaper car insurance rates to women all over the world. The rates are based on probability of accident and damage claims, so this is based on hard data and evidence. And we all know how good all men are at math so they should appreciate this :) and accept that from a “results-based” point of view women are better drivers, (fender-benders and scratches aside).Recommend

  • kanwal

    A very important question is to calculate the ratio of accidents in both cases. I am not sure of Pakistani roads, but i am sure western women are just as good drivers as any. They have the confidence. In Pakistan we hatdly ever raise our daughters to have solid nerves. Yet i am sure that majority of accidents are caused by men. Specially the fatal ones. Recommend

  • Perizaad O’ Qatil Haseena

    I understand that you don’t have a car like mine, and you can’t stand to see that a woman can drive a car as good as you do. But you try to harass her on the road and then you say “chhor yaar ladies hai”. That’s not my fault. So STOP being jealous/ envious and STFU.Recommend

  • Huma

    Chauvanist (describes himself correctly and) says… “i have seen women crying even at minor accidents….they cant change flat tires… they will leave the car and get a taxi if it doesn’t start at third try….they cant push start the car….they don’t know how to use battery jumper cable….. they wont notice if engine is getting heated, until the engine gets smoky..”
    none of these examples pertain to “driving”! maybe to when the car stops working or a tyre goes flat, but not about the actual skill of driving… so in addition to being a chauvanist, hes also totally off the point!
    as for @Throne of Thorns… be careful “your” women may want to feed u poison (or at least tons of laxative), do the cooking yourself!cdont have confidence in women even in the kitchen…. bewarrre!!!
    lol!Recommend

  • ThroneOfThorns

    But how can a woman drive and make a sandwich at the same time?Recommend

  • Hardliner

    There’s no question about the fact that women are pathetic drivers………. We experience this on daily basis………… whenever u see the most stupid of mistakes, unfortunately a woman is always behind the wheel………..Recommend

  • Sane

    Women drivers are far better than those reckless drivers among the ‘educated’ class. And far far better than truck/bus/school van/taxi/rickshaw and other commercial vehicle drivers.Recommend

  • Mona

    i have been driving from the last 5 years now, and i have driven on the national highway and superways, and never i have had an accident or the like Alhamdullilah. i do not have any problem parking the car and i have never got confused while driving, yes i have seen so many women on the road confused and mostly driving unecessarily slow but at the same time i have also observed male drivers doing the same and the ratio of men not driving properly is greater then the women who do not drive properly. why? the answer is simple, there are more male drivers on the roads at any given time than the women drivers, specially here in Pakistan. trust me poor driving has nothing to do with the gender but yes another fact is that men usually tend to pressure women who are out on the road driving by giving them unecessary stares as if she is driving naked or something if she is driving too slow or too fast or just fine and even harrassing her if she overtakes a car which is being driven by a man, yes i have experienced it many times, when she is trying to park its a must that either the man with her or around the area would come and offer help or would simply say “madam you wont be able to park properly let me park it for you”. research says that such comments psychologicaly affect the confidence of a driver be it man or woman if repeated again and again. so women tend to lose their confidence and eventually end up getting confused or give up on driving skillfully. Driving is a skill that can be learnt by both the genders and mastered equally. Recommend

  • Mona

    @hardliner. i must say you have a very poor observation then because so many times i have seen men making such stupid and ridiculous mistakes while driving and above all i have noticed men do not drive efficiently, either they drive recklessly or too slow. mostly women drive slow becuase they take precautions and avoid accidents and its always mistaken with poor driving.Recommend

  • Hardliner

    @Mona:

    disagreed!! ur comments are gender-biased and not based on facts………… if driving for kilometers with hand-brakes on or coming the wrong side on a one-way or turning the opposite side of the indicator or driving at 30 KMPH on the over-taking lane or applying full brakes atleast 300 meters away from the signals are not stupid mistakes, then i guess i’ll be left with no option than to agree with u………..Recommend

  • Rameez

    All those who are praising the treatment of women in the west.Please leave this country and go there.You so called champions of women rights are always ready to ignore facts that clearly states women are POOR drivers.

    Proud Chauvinist….Recommend

  • Qasim

    Guys dont fight.

    Lets analyze the situation before judging. There might have been a time when it was not at all common for a female to drive lets say maybe 20-30 years back which is evident from the fact that most of our aunts in their 50s and 60s now, hardly ever drove a car. And since practice makes you perfect, it could have ticked some males off on roads just because they encountered females who were slow or not very comfortable on the roads…having said that, i doubt they were ever reckless (as opposed to males).

    Times have changed and now you see a lot of females in their 20s and 30s who are much more experienced and hence comfortable on roads (and there is no denying that)

    POINT: Stop stereotyping, learn to accept change and dont admit your own mistakes rather than passing a judgement.Recommend

  • Hardliner

    @Rameez:

    U said it!!Recommend

  • Girl

    I started driving a few months after i turned 18. Whenever im alone or with someone young or my mum (an excellent driver may it be motorway or GT road or sheikhupura ki galian) I drive fiine (little bro 13 acknowledges the fact + havent ever got a ticket -yet ) but if an uncle or an elder male (big bro for example) is with me I get so confused cuz “wo itna toktay hain” (my uncle actually made me drive at 20 km/hr on a busy main road- the horror) ther bound to think i’ll mess up so I do.Recommend

  • Ex-Muslim Athiest

    @ThroneOfThorns:
    Successful troll is successful.Recommend

  • http://www.pkhope.com/ Amna

    women can come fwd in every field ,,,,Recommend

  • VivaLaRevolution

    I don’t think gender has much to do with a person’s ability to drive. I (male) am an okayish driver as i just recently started. My cousin (female) is a good driver while my father is not so good. It depends on the person not his sex.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Authors: “An extensive BBC research suggests that women’s ‘lack of hormones’ could be a strong reason why they are able to judge the road with more accuracy than men”

    That means women can drive better. Hormones make men look at women around them even while driving making them more prone to accidents.

    Any woman who can cook eggs can learn driving and parking. Parallel parking just needs little technique and every one can do it with some practice.Recommend

  • Sunflower

    As i started reading dis i thought may be a question related to women’s parking wud arise but ohh :( No, notin on parking stuff,,,,,, womens are very careful drivers to be precise…..Recommend

  • Ali tanoli

    I scare to sit if taxi driver or plane pilot is woman u never know if she pissed off by her boyfriend or husband ….Recommend

  • Saim Ali

    I agree with all the females here that we are not weak in any way nor we are incompetent we just wanted to try everything slowly be it driving a car and managing the home. we can also work and big examples are in front of you. we can do everything be it buying the groceries or making business decisions.Recommend

  • http://tribune.com.pk p r sharma

    Driving skillfully needs confidence( to take risk) and it is acquired/ developed from your upbringing. the female drivers in west are equal to men or even better drivers while it nay bot be the same in Muslim countries for the majority of women for obvious reasons. Recommend

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    There are shoes, sandals resorts in jamaica, pumping systems, pitching wedges, nighttime, pumping systems, slide insoles, throw backside and much moreRecommend

  • Manish Kumar

    Well I cant drive but my gf does and everytime we go out shes the one behind wheels, and yes shes a good,safe driver. Except that she turns her head on me and talks, that scares me a bit lol..otherwise shes great at driving and great otherwise Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    whenever i am on road and see a car driven in a absolute rubbish way I always predict that the driver must be a woman. when i check it is either a person talking on a phone or a woman behind the wheel.Recommend

  • Scr

    Kitchen and women driving jokes are an intl phenomenon, not something paksitani, in fact a lot of smart women actually take part and not get butthurt like feminazisRecommend

  • NorthernLights

    If women are such bad drivers, then why are their insurance premiums generally lower?Recommend

  • http://tribune.com.pk p r sharma

    @NorthernLights:

    women are bad driver in the sense that in cities where, there is traffic congestion ,at most of the roads, they will continue to drive slowly9 without changing the lanes- where lane system exists) despite the road ahead is clear and empty and causes the irritation to vehicles trailing behind.
    . Recommend

  • M

    @Hardliner: I’d rather make a stupid mistake than cause a fatal accident. Recommend