New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Are women really better drivers?

2006-08-11 08:45

Mark Allison

My short answer would have to be no. Let me justify my answer.

In the last year I have noticed an alarming increase in the number of women who have perfected the male dominated art of weaving through traffic.

There also seems to be an aggression creeping into their driving which you would normally expect from testosterone rich male drivers and some ladies have even become very adept at rude gestures.

I am always on the look out for women in the latest crop of fashionable "bubble" type cars as they seem to be the worst culprits.

Not so long ago I was driving from Midrand to Pretoria in the standard rush hour highway chaos when I was cut off by a very impatient woman in an A-class with one of the worst cases of "lane hopping syndrome" I have ever seen. She proceeded to beat up on the next few cars in front on me, gesturing furiously along the way.

Not five minutes later I crawled slowly past her in the normal flow of rush hour madness where she was still looking very irate, not realising she had made a couple of bad hops. I was so amused by the proceedings that I decided to count how many times I passed her in an attempt to alleviate the boredom of sitting in the jam. I passed her 16 times before exiting the freeway at my off ramp.

It was quite fascinating to watch, really helped passed the time and made me quite relaxed. I would love to have known what her stress levels were like by the time that she got home.

Don?t get me wrong, women are excellent learners and are very receptive to advanced instruction on our advanced courses as they listen very carefully and don't have the male ego creeping in to prevent them from accepting constructive criticism. They are also, in general, much more careful than men.

In theory then, women have the potential to be the best drivers but the side is being let down. My conclusion is that lots of ladies out are learning from the wrong sources. It would appear that some are learning very bad techniques from idiotic male drivers on our hyper-aggressive roads.

Now to get to my point. Human nature dictates that we all adapt to our surroundings and to some degree mimic others around us. Too many of us are learning from the aggressive drivers using the "if they can do that, so can I" principle, to the point where our road manners have become shocking.

Too many people are adapting to this style of driving assuming that is just the way it is. This doesn't only apply to women, it applies to our very impressionable new younger drivers coming into the system as well.

We all need to take a step back and assess our attitudes and techniques if we are to stand any chance of toning down the aggression and restoring some sort of civility to our roads. I shudder to think what tourists must think of us as a nation when they blindly venture out onto our roads.

In conclusion, if asked are women worse drivers than men, my short answer would also be no!

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