This is the classic question asked by any driver on the road; who’s the worse driver, men or women.
If we strictly follow the insurance companies research then men are the worse. However I was recently informed that women are beginning to catch up to men, although no attribution has been applied as to why there is an increase in bad driving by women.
Historically, we men always claimed women were the bad drivers because they were a little too cautious and they didn’t take the chances we men would take. Go figure. We call them bad drivers because they’re in the way of our bad driving. Anecdotally I can only offer up my experiences since I’ve gone back to commuting by motorcycle again.
Before I go into my experiences I suppose I should give a little backstory.
I purchased my first motorcycle when I was a sophomore in college. It was an early 70’s Honda 350 that was “chopped” to make it look tougher. The bike sported an extended front fork, ape-hanger handlebars, highway pegs, a king/queen seat with a trident atop of the backrest and a Nazi iron cross taillight. Yep, look at me, Joe College actin’ tough. In all honesty, the bike rode smooth and it was fun.
I held onto the old chopper until I moved back home and decided to finish college at the local institution. I sold the chopper, banked the money and a year later purchased a 1968 Honda CA77E, otherwise know as the Honda Dream. It was a great old bike at 305 cc’s and slightly smaller than the chopper. I held onto that bike for another couple of years until my wife noted that I wasn’t riding it anymore. I sold it to a fellow who planned to restore it and put it on display in his basement rec. room – something I’m sure didn’t thrill his wife. But hey, what did I care, I sold if for more than I paid.
Jump ahead 18 years and two kids later and I’m wanting to ride again. For some reason I had the silly impression that my wife didn’t want a motorcycle around because of the boys but she set me straight and soon I brought home a 1981 Honda CMT200, otherwise known as the Honda Twinstar. I got it for $200; I couldn’t pass it up. I justified the purchase of the little bike in two ways: 1. If I didn’t like riding anymore I could sell it for what I had in it and be done. And 2. If I did like it, and the boys wanted to learn, a 200 cc motorcycle is perfect for learning.
Now I buzz around my community, and back and forth to work, in my little Twinstar 200. For all the laughing one might expect I’m surprised at the number of people who asked me to sell it. And for those who do laugh I point at the gas prices and tell them I’m getting 70 miles to the gallon.
So, how does all this get me to the argument over men and women drivers? I thought for sure drivers now would be worse than drivers 20 years ago. Pleasantly, and thankfully, I was wrong. I actually believe today’s drivers are more aware of us motorcyclists than back when I started riding.
Well, that is except for three I’ve encountered in the last 12 months.
Bad Driver #1 was a woman who blew through a stop sign in front of me. Apparently her cell phone conversation was more important than paying attention to the road. She gave me such a surprised look when I chewed her out. Fortunately for me, I was half expecting her actions so I had begun to take evasive action as I approached her.
Bad Driver #2 is the bonehead guy who passes my house every morning on his way to Starbucks. I pulled out one morning just before he appeared from the blind curve north of my driveway. He blew around and proceeded to cross a double yellow line to pass me. Fortunately for both of us no gravel trucks coming from the other direction. This guy is the kind of person who thinks he’s more important than anyone else. He probably achieved his position in life because daddy bought if for him. Oh yeah, he was on a cell phone too. So I caught up to him at the Starbucks and informed him (in case he didn’t know) that he was a bonehead. For some odd reason he disagreed with me, but I expected that.
Bad Driver #3, my last, and latest encounter happened riding into work one morning. A young university student just wasn’t happy that I was driving only 5mph over the speed limit. She nearly rear-ended me twice then passed over a double yellow line to speed through a school zone. She was probably late for a final, that makes it okay I guess. What surprised me was her anger towards me; like it was my fault she was a bad driver.
The score to date is women 2, men 1. I hate to say it but so far in my motorcycling experiences the women winning at being the worse. However, there is still a lot of time to go and the numbers can change.