Men, Women and Cars- New Survey Reveals What’s Similar and What’s Not

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Road Rage*
 photo credit: PDXdj

New national survey data gives an interesting, and at times frightening, picture of the driving habits of the genders. On the good side of things, 89% of women and 83% of men report having a clean driving record for the past two years. On a more neutral front while 25% of women report not trusting their sense of direction only 9% of men do. Interestingly less women use GPS to find their way (58% of men vs 48% of women).

Then there is the truly frightening statistic. While both sexes agree that texting while driving should be illegal (89 percent of both men and women) nearly 25 percent of both male and female respondents report texting while driving at least once per week. Now what would Oprah have to say about that??

The data makes for an interesting read and comes by way of TeleNav.

National Survey Data Indicates Men and Women Are Similar Behind the Wheel in Action but Not As Much in Perception

TeleNav- commissioned survey suggests both genders have similar views on abiding by and breaking the rules of the road

Sunnyvale, Calif. – July 14, 2010 – Results of a new TeleNav (NASDAQ:TNAV) survey of US drivers* indicate that while men and women may be very different in a number of ways, they have many similarities when it comes to getting behind the wheel. From views of their biggest driving pet peeves to texting while driving, both genders reported having similar habits on the road. However, the survey results also suggest that while their actions on the road may be similar, men and women have very different perceptions of which gender rules the road.

Survey results indicate:

Men Claim “King of the Road” Status . . . Women Beg to Differ – When asked which gender is the better driver, 40 percent of male respondents indicated they think males are better drivers than females. Only two percent of males indicated that females are the better driving sex while 58 percent thought that gender plays no role in driving ability. Female respondents had a different opinion of the better driver debate. Only four percent of women indicated males are the better drivers. Interestingly, just seven percent of female respondents think that women are better drivers. Nearly 90 percent of females indicated that gender plays no role in driving ability.

No Matter the Sex, We All Like to Text – While both sexes agreed that texting while driving should be illegal (89 percent of both men and women), it seems that neither men nor women are fully practicing what they preach. Nearly 25 percent of both male and female respondents reported sending at least one text message while driving per week. Men seem to be the most heavy texters with 36 percent of those who text while driving indicating they send an average of seven or more texts per week while on the road. In contrast, only 23 percent of women admitted to texting as frequently.

(Road) Rules Are Meant to be Broken – Results indicate that posted speed limits may merely be viewed as “suggestions” as more than two-thirds of both men and women drivers reported having a predetermined range of speed they feel is acceptable to drive over the posted speed limit. Of those who reported having an acceptable speeding range, the majority of both men and women indicated their acceptable range is between 1-5 mph. However, more men than women (47 percent vs. 38 percent) indicated that speed ranges of 6 mph or more over the speed limit are acceptable.

It seems both sexes have been fairly successful at avoiding the long arm of the law while on the road. Eighty-nine percent of women and 83 percent of men reported having a clean driving record in the past two years with no speeding or traffic tickets.

We Can All Use a Little Guidance (Some More than Others) – Nearly one-quarter of female respondents reported that they are not confident in their own sense of direction. In contrast, only nine percent of male respondents lack confidence in their sense of direction. Ironically, even though they feel they have a better sense of direction, more men than women depend on GPS technology to guide them to a location. Fifty-eight percent of male respondents reported having used GPS to guide them on their way while only 48 percent of women have tapped the power of satellite guidance.

It’s all the (road) rage – It appears that neither male nor female drivers are angels when they hit the open road. Nearly half of all respondents reported having made a rude/crude gesture, such as showing their middle finger, to another driver in their lifetime. Of the 50 percent of male drivers who have shown their displeasure toward another driver, 16 percent admitted to doing this at least once a week compared to just eight percent of females. And what if “flipping the bird” isn’t enough? Forty-one percent of women and 43 percent of men reported using their vehicle’s horn to express displeasure at an action made by another driver.

What driving no-no’s do respondents feel warrant a honk of the horn? The top-three worst offenses include:

Cutting off another vehicle when changing lanes
Tail-gating or following too closely
Not using signals to turn or change lanes

Responses indicate that anger on the road isn’t always displayed toward other drivers. More than half of respondents, 55 percent of both men and women, reported having had an argument with a significant other while driving. The most common reason, reported by both men and women, was one partner accusing the other of being a bad driver.

For additional findings, information and images, please visit http://www.telenav.com/about/driving-behavior/.

* The survey sample consisted of 502 (251 male/251 female) US drivers. Responses were collected during the week of June 14, 2010.

About TeleNav, Inc.
TeleNav, Inc. is a leading provider of consumer location-based services (LBS), enterprise LBS and automotive LBS. TeleNav’s solutions provide consumers, wireless service providers, enterprises and automakers with location-specific, real-time, personalized services such as GPS navigation, local search, mobile advertising, mobile commerce, location tracking and workflow automation. TeleNav’s technology is available across more than 500 types of mobile phones, all major mobile phone operating systems and a broad range of wireless network protocols. TeleNav’s service providers and partners include Alltel, AT&T, Bell Mobility, Boost Mobile, China Mobile, Ford Motor Company, NII Holdings, Rogers, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile UK, T-Mobile USA, Telcel, Verizon Wireless and Vivo Brazil.

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.