Monday, February 14, 2005

An alternative take on driving tests

Well us poor stupid women apparently need more lessons before we pass our driving tests, according to this article in the Guardian. Now we all know that women drivers have less accidents. That's why insurance premiums are lower for women. So maybe the people who give the tests are passing guys too quickly and failing too many women. Maybe - shock horror - they're discriminating, consciously or sub-consciously, against women. Maybe its articles like that one in the guardian, and comments by people like Roger Cummins, the DSA's chief driving examiner, that lead to this perception of women as bad drivers and thus to the discrimination.

Now they claim, and they may be right, that women are more cautious drivers. Women are often failed in driving tests for taking too long pulling out at junctions. Meanwhile men tend to be more rash and decisive, which results in them having more accidents. So should driving examiners stop failing people so quickly for being over-cautious and start failing more people for being over-confident? Might not be a bad plan. Should a responsible paper like the Guardian be printing articles entitled "Women 'need longer to learn to drive'" when we all know that women are better and safer drivers than men? Probably not.

Happy Valentine's Day all. xx


Cruella said...

There would certainly be advantages to creating a test that doesn't allow the examiner to know the gender of the candidate (or race, sexual orientation, age, etc). perhaps a car with tinted windows... or just put a camera on the dash and have the examiner sitting in a closed booth watching by satellite link-up?

what newspapers do you recommend for me?

also i am thinking of learning to drive. got any top tips?

Cruella said...

Tut tut tut Simon, how many times have i told you not to extrapolate too far from one single case study? Anyway looks like I will be starting some lessons soon so I may have some first-hand experience of the whole thing.