Press release

Caution, bad-tempered woman behind the wheel

Tuesday 23 August 2005

  • Female drivers are just as bad tempered as men
  • 28% have shouted or gestured at another road user

New research* by Saga motor insurance has revealed that women are just as aggressive towards fellow road users as men; women form an integral part of the phenomenon that Saga has labelled "Anti-Social Driving Disorder".

Almost a third of female motorists admitted to having shouted or gestured at another driver as did 33% of men, and over one in five women said they have used their horn or flashed their lights in anger over the last 12 months. Over half of all female motorists said that they have felt angry or frightened because of the actions of another road user.

Following a 'minor bump' with a parked car, as many as one in ten women say they would only leave a note if they thought they'd been seen, whereas this applies to only 7% of men.

The survey also revealed that women are not afraid to break the law when behind the wheel, although men are more likely to do so. 64% of men admit to speeding on the motorway compared to 43% of women, two thirds of male motorists said that they had exceeded the limit in a 30mph zone as did almost half of female drivers. Men are also far more likely to undertake, with 27% of men admitting to this dangerous manoeuvre compared to just 13% of women.

Almost a quarter of men admitted to hogging the middle lane of the motorway as did 17% of women, although it was found to be the preserve of younger drivers, dispelling the myth that lane hogs tend to be those in their more mature years.

The survey also highlighted that not all manners are dead, when drivers are not actually behind the wheel of their cars, chivalry and courtesy still reign. Two thirds of men usually open the car door for their partner, however in what is perhaps a sign of changing times, 29% of women said they too would open the door for their other half.

Andrew Goodsell, Chief Executive of Saga commented:

"Some people seem to leave their manners behind when they get into the driving seat. Our experience is that the over 50s are more considerate and tolerant of other drivers."

Anti-social driving habits can also prove extremely costly. Whilst a damaged wing mirror could cost 70 to replace, a paint job following a scrape may leave drivers facing a bill of a few hundred pounds and a collision could cost a great deal more. In fact, Saga customers whose parked cars have been damaged by an anonymous culprit have on average claimed for damage costing 700*** to repair.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

*Research carried out over the telephone on behalf of Saga by BMRB between 15th - 17th April 2005 amongst a sample of 1952 adults aged 17 in GB

** Driving Behaviours research breakdown

Age and Gender Comparison

Behaviour Total Men Women

Exceeded the 30mph limit in a built up area 55% 61% 49%

Exceeded the 70mph limit on the motorway 54% 64% 43%

Got angry or frightened because of another road user 49% 47% 51%

Shouted or gestured at another road user 31% 33% 28%

Used your horn or flashed your lights in anger 25% 29% 21%

Undertaken someone 20% 27% 13%

Stayed in the middle lane of the motorway when the inside lane is clear 20% 23% 17%

Parked on double yellow lines 19% 22% 14%

Driven close to the car in front to get them to move over 9% 14% 3%

Jumped a red light 8% 10% 7%

Hit another road user or their property 2% 3% 1%

*** Source - Saga claims database

For further press information please contact the Saga Press Office on: 01303 771529.

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