Who hogs the road?

Running Battle

Who hogs the road?

Zipping: Women drivers face all kinds of harassment on the road.

Studies done by insurance companies show that despite all the jokes and stereotypes about women drivers, women actually make less accident claims than men do. The study went on to state that men tended to be more aggressive drivers, break more traffic laws and drive more dangerously.Women, on the other hand, were deemed to be more careful on the road. Yet women in the City feel that merely by virtue of their sex, life behind the wheel is not an easy drive by a long shot.

“I am on the road for a couple of hours every day. I drive to and from work but avail of the company car while on official duty. There is a big difference when I drive and when I am being driven around by a male chauffeur and it’s got nothing to do with driving skills!” says Vandana Srivatsa, a sales executive, adding, “I used to drive alone late at night without hesitation but I would never do that today, as I simply do not feel safe. Men often tend to take undue notice of a lone woman driver. They either try out aggressive driving stunts or if they are in a group, they veer dangerously close to your vehicle. Call centre cabs and buses are the worst offenders with very little regard for rules and regulations.”

Student Alisha Peres has been driving for two years now and says that women drivers are in general a pretty harassed lot. “Women drivers face all kinds of harassment ranging from leers and rude stares at signal lights to tailgating and aggressive overtaking and honking. Even the police tend to take advantage of women drivers in my experience,” she says.

“Driving during the day is not a big issue but at night safety is a major concern,” says Krishanamani who has had a traumatic experience of having being mugged as she was entering her home in a busy part of Kumarapark Layout. “Three men in a Santro car practically ambushed me on  my doorstep. Luckily, the beat constable scared them off but they did make off with my mobile and purse. Even after that incident I have found men trying to follow me if it’s late at night. Always keep your mobile phone handy, doors and windows locked and cover yourself with a shawl, especially if dressed to go to a party,” she advises.

With all the debate raging behind the wheel and between the sexes, there are certain driving related stereotypes that tend to stick across the board to both sexes however.
Men are less likely to ask for directions than women. If a car breaks down, men are expected to have a natural ability to fix it while a woman can wait for help. Women may not react to being cut off in traffic while men take it as a personal challenge.
The bottom line is that going by statistics, and accident related fatalities, women seem to be safer drivers by far.

So avoiding accidents does not seem to be all about driving abilities! It’s more about following the rules and taking safety precautions.

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