NU Online News Service

Male drivers are cited for reckless driving 3.41 times more than women, according to a new study that found men are more dangerous behind the wheel.

San Francisco-based Quality Planning, a company that validates policyholder information for auto insurers, said its proprietary findings reveal dramatic differences in the number and type of traffic violations received by men versus women.

According to Quality Planning, the data shows that when it comes to traffic laws, women are far more observant of them than men, and that the laws violated more frequently by men are those laws designed to safeguard people and property.

The company noted that reckless driving offenses, committed far more frequently by men, are considered one of the most serious traffic offenses by courts since it implies a disregard for the rights and safety of persons or property.

Quality Planning said it analyzed 12 months’ of 2007 policyholder information for U.S. drivers, comparing the number of moving and nonmoving violations for both men and women. Overall, the data shows that men are much more likely to receive a traffic citation than women, and that this difference in driving behavior is consistent across all age groups.

In addition to reckless driving the company said men were 3.09 times more likely to be cited for driving under the influence, 3.08 times more likely for failure to wear a seatbelt, 1.75 times more likely for speeding, 1.54 times more likely for failure to yield and 1.53 times more for a stop sign violation.

“We were not surprised to see that men have slightly more–about plus 5 percent–violations that result in accidents than women,” said Raj Bhat, president of Quality Planning.

“And because men are also more likely to violate laws for speeding, passing and yielding, the resulting accidents caused by men lead to more expensive claims than those caused by women,” said Mr. Bhat.

Women drivers were also about 27 percent less likely than men to be found at fault (1-49 percent negligent) when involved in an accident, according to the company.

Quality Planning said this again underscores the finding that women are on average less aggressive and more law-abiding drivers–attributes that also translate to fewer accidents.

The company said the study used traffic code violations data for a one-year period from 2007 and 2008.

Violations were grouped by type and gender of the driver, and the percentage of violations for male and female drivers was estimated. Finally, the ratio of percentage of violations by male and female drivers was calculated to identify the difference in gender for each type of violation.

Quality Planning is a subsidiary of Jersey City, N.J.-based Insurance Services Office.