Stop spitting female drivers, data show male drivers are more likely to cause death in traffic accidents

On April 6th a new study from the journal Injury Prevention showed that men were more at risk to other road users than women and were more likely to be able to drive dangerously. The researchers used four sets of official data for England from 2005-2015: police injury statistics, road traffic statistics, national travel survey data and the National Bureau of Statistics population/gender figures.

These data analysed the risks posed to other road users by bicycles, cars and taxis, vans, buses, trucks and motorcycles for every 1 billion kilometres travelled, disaggregated by type and gender of primary and secondary roads in urban and rural areas.

In absolute terms, cars and taxis are associated with the majority (two thirds) of deaths among other road users. But a comparison of the number of deaths per distance travelled suggests that other vehicles may be more dangerous.

Trucks are associated with one in six other road users: deaths per kilometre are more than five times the number of deaths per kilometre in cars. The death toll from buses per kilometre is also high.

Although motorcycles are small in size, they also pose a high risk to other road users. Compared to the others, the number of deaths per kilometre is 2.5 times that of cars travelling per kilometre.

During the study period, the majority of deaths (173) in urban areas were pedestrians. Cycling, on the other hand, seems relatively safe for other road users: it causes fewer deaths per kilometre than other types of transport, with one person per 1 billion kilometres riding.

Analysis of data by sex shows that men pose a much higher risk to other road users of the six types of vehicles studied.

Male drivers pose twice as much risk as women driving per kilometre, truck drivers four times as risky than women, and motorcyclists are more than ten times more likely than women to drive.

The researchers said policymakers are advised to consider policies that increase gender balance in occupations that are primarily involved in driving, thereby reducing the number of deaths in traffic accidents.

Stop spitting female drivers, data show male drivers are more likely to cause death in traffic accidents