Let’s Talk About Driving

I received a lot of questions about yesterday's beach post.  I'm not going to answer most of them, because sometimes it's just a good thing to wonder.  And yes, I did get an email from a group on the far right trying to "save" me as a result of publishing it.  

I like to mix things up once in awhile.  It would get boring if you knew what to expect every day when you come to visit.  Did I wake you up yesterday?  Based on the comments and emails, I think maybe I did.

Today I'd like to open up another gender discussion.  I want to discuss men and their bad driving habits.  

More specifically, I'm going to make the claim that women are better drivers than men.  (I can't wait to see the hate mail I get on this one.)

For the record, I've only gotten one ticket ever and it was shortly after I learned to drive. I was speeding on my way to visit my boyfriend.  Love is urgent when you're a teen. I've been involved in one accident and the other driver admitted fault.  He was an asshat and he was speeding and he ran a stop sign.

I know there are stereotypes about women drivers, but they were created by men.  In the case of the women I know, those stereotypes are wrong, wrong, wrong.  I really think a lot of men should be the ones returning to driving school.

Many years ago, when I first met Briefcase's parents, I flew to their hometown for a visit. Briefcase's dad drove me to their home from the airport.  I emerged from the car 45 minutes later as white as a ghost, heart pounding, and still chanting a prayer in hopes of survival.  At the time, Briefcase laughed and joked about what a terrible driver his dad was.  We both thought it was a great source of humor, as long as we didn't have to get in a car with him.

Briefcase has become his dad.

Why is it that men, all men who have ever existed, are so competitive with other male drivers once they're behind the wheel?  Why, if a 16 year old teen boy goes racing by, must they also accelerate, rev the engine and … revert to being a 16 year old boy themselves?

Why?

Why is it that when a man gets cut off while driving he must speed up, get next to the car who cut him off and GIVE THAT DRIVER A LOOK (or maybe the finger)?  Why not just assume the other driver is in a hurry and let him go past unfettered?  Really, what does a LOOK accomplish?

How many road rage incidents involve women?  How many involve men?

Why is that?  

Do we ever hear of a woman driver whipping out a gun and shooting another driver who cut her off?

Why won't Briefcase a man take responsibility for their bad driving even when they *ahem* rear end the car in front of them at a stop light?  Why do they still feel the need to go on and on about it being the other driver's fault?

Hypothetically, of course.

When a stop light changes to green why must men accelerate quickly and then brake quickly for the next stop?  Why not save a little gas and make more gradual starts and stops?

Why can men tell you about every hot woman little thing going on along the side of the road or freeway, but they never, ever, are looking ahead at the road while they drive?

Why do men always feel the need to speed?  Do they imagine themselves at the Indy 500?  Is it a macho experience to get behind the wheel of a car?  Even if it's a minivan?

Men also are notorious for refusing to ask for directions, no matter how lost they are.  I don't, personally, have a lot of experience with this one because in our family I'm the one with no sense of direction whatsoever.  Briefcase can find his way to and from just about anywhere so he never needs to ask directions.  I get disoriented in a square room with two exits.

Needless to say, it was a male asshole driver who ran a stop sign, t-boned my car and changed my life forever.  

Women get a bad rap. 

Don't you think?

54 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Driving”

  1. mama llama

    The father of my children drives like an old man: two hands high up on the steering wheel, kind of shaking it. He doesn’t ever know how fast to go because he doesn’t read signs. He doesn’t even know where to go and actually factors in time spent due to his lack of sign-reading so he can turn around and go back somewhere if he gets lost.
    Duuuuude.
    I have, therefore, always been the driver. I can multi-task…and it astounds me that, even as simple of a multi-tasking as reading BIG SIGNS on the side of the road put there for the purpose of keeping drivers from getting lost, this can evade him completely.
    However, I have also been in a car with a woman driver (Japanese) who missed her turn-off on the freeway (in Japan) and actually pulled over and REVERSED back to the exit. I honestly thought I was going to die then.
    Be well, 24.

  2. mama llama

    The father of my children drives like an old man: two hands high up on the steering wheel, kind of shaking it. He doesn’t ever know how fast to go because he doesn’t read signs. He doesn’t even know where to go and actually factors in time spent due to his lack of sign-reading so he can turn around and go back somewhere if he gets lost.
    Duuuuude.
    I have, therefore, always been the driver. I can multi-task…and it astounds me that, even as simple of a multi-tasking as reading BIG SIGNS on the side of the road put there for the purpose of keeping drivers from getting lost, this can evade him completely.
    However, I have also been in a car with a woman driver (Japanese) who missed her turn-off on the freeway (in Japan) and actually pulled over and REVERSED back to the exit. I honestly thought I was going to die then.
    Be well, 24.

  3. mama llama

    The father of my children drives like an old man: two hands high up on the steering wheel, kind of shaking it. He doesn’t ever know how fast to go because he doesn’t read signs. He doesn’t even know where to go and actually factors in time spent due to his lack of sign-reading so he can turn around and go back somewhere if he gets lost.
    Duuuuude.
    I have, therefore, always been the driver. I can multi-task…and it astounds me that, even as simple of a multi-tasking as reading BIG SIGNS on the side of the road put there for the purpose of keeping drivers from getting lost, this can evade him completely.
    However, I have also been in a car with a woman driver (Japanese) who missed her turn-off on the freeway (in Japan) and actually pulled over and REVERSED back to the exit. I honestly thought I was going to die then.
    Be well, 24.

  4. Linda

    The ELPH’s father was a horrible driver. He had had cataract surgery that went bad so he drove with one eye closed. And all the bones in his neck seemed to be fused (only when driving) so if he was changing lanes, God help us and hope there wasn’t anyone in his blind spot cuz his head didn’t move! I’d just get in the back seat, buckle up, close my eyes and pray. Till I couldn’t stand it any more and told the ELPH is wouldn’t get in the car if his Dad was driving.
    The ELPH has the most irritating habit of speeding up so the guy next to him CAN’T PASS! Talk about instigating road rage!

  5. Linda

    The ELPH’s father was a horrible driver. He had had cataract surgery that went bad so he drove with one eye closed. And all the bones in his neck seemed to be fused (only when driving) so if he was changing lanes, God help us and hope there wasn’t anyone in his blind spot cuz his head didn’t move! I’d just get in the back seat, buckle up, close my eyes and pray. Till I couldn’t stand it any more and told the ELPH is wouldn’t get in the car if his Dad was driving.
    The ELPH has the most irritating habit of speeding up so the guy next to him CAN’T PASS! Talk about instigating road rage!

  6. Linda

    The ELPH’s father was a horrible driver. He had had cataract surgery that went bad so he drove with one eye closed. And all the bones in his neck seemed to be fused (only when driving) so if he was changing lanes, God help us and hope there wasn’t anyone in his blind spot cuz his head didn’t move! I’d just get in the back seat, buckle up, close my eyes and pray. Till I couldn’t stand it any more and told the ELPH is wouldn’t get in the car if his Dad was driving.
    The ELPH has the most irritating habit of speeding up so the guy next to him CAN’T PASS! Talk about instigating road rage!

  7. Jan

    I have gotten exactly one speeding ticket in my entire life. Beloved averages some sort of moving violation about once a year. He also has a tendency to drink coffee, talk on his cell phone and steer with his knees.
    And HE grips the dashboard with all the white-knuckled vehemence of a man facing eminent demise whenever *I* get behind the wheel.
    I have no answers for you. I bet no one does.

  8. Jan

    I have gotten exactly one speeding ticket in my entire life. Beloved averages some sort of moving violation about once a year. He also has a tendency to drink coffee, talk on his cell phone and steer with his knees.
    And HE grips the dashboard with all the white-knuckled vehemence of a man facing eminent demise whenever *I* get behind the wheel.
    I have no answers for you. I bet no one does.

  9. Jan

    I have gotten exactly one speeding ticket in my entire life. Beloved averages some sort of moving violation about once a year. He also has a tendency to drink coffee, talk on his cell phone and steer with his knees.
    And HE grips the dashboard with all the white-knuckled vehemence of a man facing eminent demise whenever *I* get behind the wheel.
    I have no answers for you. I bet no one does.

  10. Alan

    Honestly, I’m thinking we are even across the board. I drive fast, my wife drives fast also. But she’ll wait to turn right at a red light when no one is coming because she is talking to me or on her phone. it drives me crazy! I’ve seen bad driving from both sexes. But I will tell you this…when someone is in my way and driving poorly, I almost always think it is a woman. Sexist maybe? But usually true…

  11. Alan

    Honestly, I’m thinking we are even across the board. I drive fast, my wife drives fast also. But she’ll wait to turn right at a red light when no one is coming because she is talking to me or on her phone. it drives me crazy! I’ve seen bad driving from both sexes. But I will tell you this…when someone is in my way and driving poorly, I almost always think it is a woman. Sexist maybe? But usually true…

  12. Alan

    Honestly, I’m thinking we are even across the board. I drive fast, my wife drives fast also. But she’ll wait to turn right at a red light when no one is coming because she is talking to me or on her phone. it drives me crazy! I’ve seen bad driving from both sexes. But I will tell you this…when someone is in my way and driving poorly, I almost always think it is a woman. Sexist maybe? But usually true…

  13. Kelly

    I completely agree that women are better drivers. And men DID create the stereotype about women.

  14. Kelly

    I completely agree that women are better drivers. And men DID create the stereotype about women.

  15. Kelly

    I completely agree that women are better drivers. And men DID create the stereotype about women.

  16. Mama Dawg

    Totally agree. I’ve been at fault for ONE accident. My ex totalled his car during a drunk driving accident.
    Between kids and men, it’s hell out there on the road!

  17. Mama Dawg

    Totally agree. I’ve been at fault for ONE accident. My ex totalled his car during a drunk driving accident.
    Between kids and men, it’s hell out there on the road!

  18. Mama Dawg

    Totally agree. I’ve been at fault for ONE accident. My ex totalled his car during a drunk driving accident.
    Between kids and men, it’s hell out there on the road!

  19. NGS

    Ummm…it’s not true in our house. I am bad at driving. I am easily distracted, I can’t judge how big my damn car is to fit it properly in the lane, let alone a freaking parking space! My husband rarely drives, but when he does, it’s like he’s trying out for the lead role in a driver’s ed video – very focused, checking his mirrors often, signaling properly.
    There’s a web site called “Bad Parking.” I find myself utterly defensive when I go to that site. Because any number of those parking jobs could be something I considered good enough!
    So maybe the truth is that, like all things, some women are good at driving and some men are.

  20. NGS

    Ummm…it’s not true in our house. I am bad at driving. I am easily distracted, I can’t judge how big my damn car is to fit it properly in the lane, let alone a freaking parking space! My husband rarely drives, but when he does, it’s like he’s trying out for the lead role in a driver’s ed video – very focused, checking his mirrors often, signaling properly.
    There’s a web site called “Bad Parking.” I find myself utterly defensive when I go to that site. Because any number of those parking jobs could be something I considered good enough!
    So maybe the truth is that, like all things, some women are good at driving and some men are.

  21. NGS

    Ummm…it’s not true in our house. I am bad at driving. I am easily distracted, I can’t judge how big my damn car is to fit it properly in the lane, let alone a freaking parking space! My husband rarely drives, but when he does, it’s like he’s trying out for the lead role in a driver’s ed video – very focused, checking his mirrors often, signaling properly.
    There’s a web site called “Bad Parking.” I find myself utterly defensive when I go to that site. Because any number of those parking jobs could be something I considered good enough!
    So maybe the truth is that, like all things, some women are good at driving and some men are.

  22. Kristan

    Actually… 95% of the time, if I pass a bad driver I check and they’re either old, Asian, female, on the cell phone, or a combination thereof. I’m rarely pissed off by male drivers.
    My opinion: it’s often a matter of confidence and reflexes. Either sex can have both, so then the question becomes, on average, who has more?

  23. Kristan

    Actually… 95% of the time, if I pass a bad driver I check and they’re either old, Asian, female, on the cell phone, or a combination thereof. I’m rarely pissed off by male drivers.
    My opinion: it’s often a matter of confidence and reflexes. Either sex can have both, so then the question becomes, on average, who has more?

  24. Kristan

    Actually… 95% of the time, if I pass a bad driver I check and they’re either old, Asian, female, on the cell phone, or a combination thereof. I’m rarely pissed off by male drivers.
    My opinion: it’s often a matter of confidence and reflexes. Either sex can have both, so then the question becomes, on average, who has more?

  25. Lisa

    Bwhahahahahah!! Oh 24, you are a hoot! I had to put my 2 cents worth in on this one.
    We have to trade my husbands car in every two years because I have pounded a hole in the passenger floor board from using the imaginary brake! Ahem … well, I am being cute with that … but I really don’t know how he gets from point A to point B without my help.
    Best laugh I’ve had all day …. well, except for your accident .. which is not a laughing matter.

  26. Lisa

    Bwhahahahahah!! Oh 24, you are a hoot! I had to put my 2 cents worth in on this one.
    We have to trade my husbands car in every two years because I have pounded a hole in the passenger floor board from using the imaginary brake! Ahem … well, I am being cute with that … but I really don’t know how he gets from point A to point B without my help.
    Best laugh I’ve had all day …. well, except for your accident .. which is not a laughing matter.

  27. Lisa

    Bwhahahahahah!! Oh 24, you are a hoot! I had to put my 2 cents worth in on this one.
    We have to trade my husbands car in every two years because I have pounded a hole in the passenger floor board from using the imaginary brake! Ahem … well, I am being cute with that … but I really don’t know how he gets from point A to point B without my help.
    Best laugh I’ve had all day …. well, except for your accident .. which is not a laughing matter.

  28. Kim

    My husband sounds a lot like Briefcase’s dad. He usually thinks that I’m mad at him when we drive anywhere of a mid to long distance, because I stare out the side window the entire time. If I actually looked at the road, I’d have a heart attack for sure.
    He can see EVERYTHING passing by, but not see ANY of the road signs and therefore is constantly asking me where he needs to go. He also used to rely on me completely to alert him that his exit was coming up. Then I got him a GPS for Christmas.
    About a week after he got the GPS, we were coming home from visiting family. It was on, and the sound was on we were driving to our HOME. We got to our street and the GPS alerted him that he should “Turn left to home in 0.5 miles.” And then alerted him to “Turn left to home in 0.25 miles.” I was reading a book so I was very surprised to then here our little GPS lady say “Recalculating.” Yes. He drove right past our house. WITH a GPS. Idiot.

  29. Kim

    My husband sounds a lot like Briefcase’s dad. He usually thinks that I’m mad at him when we drive anywhere of a mid to long distance, because I stare out the side window the entire time. If I actually looked at the road, I’d have a heart attack for sure.
    He can see EVERYTHING passing by, but not see ANY of the road signs and therefore is constantly asking me where he needs to go. He also used to rely on me completely to alert him that his exit was coming up. Then I got him a GPS for Christmas.
    About a week after he got the GPS, we were coming home from visiting family. It was on, and the sound was on we were driving to our HOME. We got to our street and the GPS alerted him that he should “Turn left to home in 0.5 miles.” And then alerted him to “Turn left to home in 0.25 miles.” I was reading a book so I was very surprised to then here our little GPS lady say “Recalculating.” Yes. He drove right past our house. WITH a GPS. Idiot.

  30. Kim

    My husband sounds a lot like Briefcase’s dad. He usually thinks that I’m mad at him when we drive anywhere of a mid to long distance, because I stare out the side window the entire time. If I actually looked at the road, I’d have a heart attack for sure.
    He can see EVERYTHING passing by, but not see ANY of the road signs and therefore is constantly asking me where he needs to go. He also used to rely on me completely to alert him that his exit was coming up. Then I got him a GPS for Christmas.
    About a week after he got the GPS, we were coming home from visiting family. It was on, and the sound was on we were driving to our HOME. We got to our street and the GPS alerted him that he should “Turn left to home in 0.5 miles.” And then alerted him to “Turn left to home in 0.25 miles.” I was reading a book so I was very surprised to then here our little GPS lady say “Recalculating.” Yes. He drove right past our house. WITH a GPS. Idiot.

  31. Liz C

    I think what we have here is a difference in opinion of the definition of ‘bad driver’.
    IMHO, men as a lot are the more aggressive drivers, which to women = bad. Women drivers who are hesitant or easily distracted will be labeled ‘bad drivers’ by men.
    The drivers that piss me off are super-aggressive drivers and slow/clueless/inconsistent drivers. Since we’re speaking in gross generalizations, I think teens and elders are worse drivers than those of us in between.
    (BTW, no one can really successfully multi-task while driving. Yes, I mean even you.)
    🙂

  32. Liz C

    I think what we have here is a difference in opinion of the definition of ‘bad driver’.
    IMHO, men as a lot are the more aggressive drivers, which to women = bad. Women drivers who are hesitant or easily distracted will be labeled ‘bad drivers’ by men.
    The drivers that piss me off are super-aggressive drivers and slow/clueless/inconsistent drivers. Since we’re speaking in gross generalizations, I think teens and elders are worse drivers than those of us in between.
    (BTW, no one can really successfully multi-task while driving. Yes, I mean even you.)
    🙂

  33. Liz C

    I think what we have here is a difference in opinion of the definition of ‘bad driver’.
    IMHO, men as a lot are the more aggressive drivers, which to women = bad. Women drivers who are hesitant or easily distracted will be labeled ‘bad drivers’ by men.
    The drivers that piss me off are super-aggressive drivers and slow/clueless/inconsistent drivers. Since we’re speaking in gross generalizations, I think teens and elders are worse drivers than those of us in between.
    (BTW, no one can really successfully multi-task while driving. Yes, I mean even you.)
    🙂

  34. Christine

    I’m going to have to say gender doesn’t matter, though males do seem to be more aggressive. It’s always the elderly (like 80+) and ANYBODY on a freaking cell phone that ticks me off. Well, really, with the ederly (though not all of them), you just have to be extra careful around them, I guess. It’s always an elderly person going 55 on the 70mph interstate in the LEFT lane. Lemme throw this out there — my husband and I were discussing this the other day: Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have people past a certain age have to take a driving test every so often? I mean there is a point where you’re too old to drive, though based on your own ability, not a certain number.
    If you’re on a cell phone and not paying attention/going too slow/ in the left lane when you should be in the right/driving erratically/driving near me on a bad day, you will inevitably piss me off.
    There I said it. I wish my state would enact a no talking on cell phone law. It’s not that hard to put it on speakerphone or use an earpiece. They are debating a no texting law, but that’s kind of a no-brainer. That and no putting on makeup while driving. Now THAT scares me.

  35. Christine

    I’m going to have to say gender doesn’t matter, though males do seem to be more aggressive. It’s always the elderly (like 80+) and ANYBODY on a freaking cell phone that ticks me off. Well, really, with the ederly (though not all of them), you just have to be extra careful around them, I guess. It’s always an elderly person going 55 on the 70mph interstate in the LEFT lane. Lemme throw this out there — my husband and I were discussing this the other day: Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have people past a certain age have to take a driving test every so often? I mean there is a point where you’re too old to drive, though based on your own ability, not a certain number.
    If you’re on a cell phone and not paying attention/going too slow/ in the left lane when you should be in the right/driving erratically/driving near me on a bad day, you will inevitably piss me off.
    There I said it. I wish my state would enact a no talking on cell phone law. It’s not that hard to put it on speakerphone or use an earpiece. They are debating a no texting law, but that’s kind of a no-brainer. That and no putting on makeup while driving. Now THAT scares me.

  36. Christine

    I’m going to have to say gender doesn’t matter, though males do seem to be more aggressive. It’s always the elderly (like 80+) and ANYBODY on a freaking cell phone that ticks me off. Well, really, with the ederly (though not all of them), you just have to be extra careful around them, I guess. It’s always an elderly person going 55 on the 70mph interstate in the LEFT lane. Lemme throw this out there — my husband and I were discussing this the other day: Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have people past a certain age have to take a driving test every so often? I mean there is a point where you’re too old to drive, though based on your own ability, not a certain number.
    If you’re on a cell phone and not paying attention/going too slow/ in the left lane when you should be in the right/driving erratically/driving near me on a bad day, you will inevitably piss me off.
    There I said it. I wish my state would enact a no talking on cell phone law. It’s not that hard to put it on speakerphone or use an earpiece. They are debating a no texting law, but that’s kind of a no-brainer. That and no putting on makeup while driving. Now THAT scares me.

  37. midlife slices

    I think it’s all a matter of perspective depending on if you’ve got the steering wheel to hang on to or if you’re on the other side hanging on to the dashboard. But I still think men are worse drivers.

  38. midlife slices

    I think it’s all a matter of perspective depending on if you’ve got the steering wheel to hang on to or if you’re on the other side hanging on to the dashboard. But I still think men are worse drivers.

  39. midlife slices

    I think it’s all a matter of perspective depending on if you’ve got the steering wheel to hang on to or if you’re on the other side hanging on to the dashboard. But I still think men are worse drivers.

  40. Karin

    From an insurance agent’s viewpoint – here is what we have determined and how we answer our clients: Men are usually more agressive, therefore when/if they have accidents, they are usually at higher speeds and cost considerably more and cause more physical injury. Women have slow speed fender benders, injuring noone and causing only minor damages, therefore their rates are lower.
    I think you’re totally dead on with the elderly and teens. Although my teen drives like me – because of the fear of being stuck at home the rest of her natural life if she doesn’t. The elderly SHOULD have to take a driving test again but it will never happen. They are the huge “voting base” and they would never vote to lose their freedom. It becomes the responsibility of their children, etc. to show them they are not capable of safely driving any longer. Case-in-point – we just took mt grandpa’s keys at 94 because we reminded him he couldn’t back out of his drive-way without backing into a HUGE YELLOW SCHOOL BUS! He didn’t argue!
    I agree so much about the “look or finger” that a man must give – it’s like they have to be the baddest dog on the porch or something! Pitiful really! Their egos shouldn’t be nearly so sensitive!

  41. Karin

    From an insurance agent’s viewpoint – here is what we have determined and how we answer our clients: Men are usually more agressive, therefore when/if they have accidents, they are usually at higher speeds and cost considerably more and cause more physical injury. Women have slow speed fender benders, injuring noone and causing only minor damages, therefore their rates are lower.
    I think you’re totally dead on with the elderly and teens. Although my teen drives like me – because of the fear of being stuck at home the rest of her natural life if she doesn’t. The elderly SHOULD have to take a driving test again but it will never happen. They are the huge “voting base” and they would never vote to lose their freedom. It becomes the responsibility of their children, etc. to show them they are not capable of safely driving any longer. Case-in-point – we just took mt grandpa’s keys at 94 because we reminded him he couldn’t back out of his drive-way without backing into a HUGE YELLOW SCHOOL BUS! He didn’t argue!
    I agree so much about the “look or finger” that a man must give – it’s like they have to be the baddest dog on the porch or something! Pitiful really! Their egos shouldn’t be nearly so sensitive!

  42. Karin

    From an insurance agent’s viewpoint – here is what we have determined and how we answer our clients: Men are usually more agressive, therefore when/if they have accidents, they are usually at higher speeds and cost considerably more and cause more physical injury. Women have slow speed fender benders, injuring noone and causing only minor damages, therefore their rates are lower.
    I think you’re totally dead on with the elderly and teens. Although my teen drives like me – because of the fear of being stuck at home the rest of her natural life if she doesn’t. The elderly SHOULD have to take a driving test again but it will never happen. They are the huge “voting base” and they would never vote to lose their freedom. It becomes the responsibility of their children, etc. to show them they are not capable of safely driving any longer. Case-in-point – we just took mt grandpa’s keys at 94 because we reminded him he couldn’t back out of his drive-way without backing into a HUGE YELLOW SCHOOL BUS! He didn’t argue!
    I agree so much about the “look or finger” that a man must give – it’s like they have to be the baddest dog on the porch or something! Pitiful really! Their egos shouldn’t be nearly so sensitive!

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