Who Causes More Car Accidents: Men or Women?

The question of who causes more car accidents, men or women, is a common topic of debate. You have likely heard plenty of jokes about male or female drivers. So, what’s the truth behind these jokes? 

In general, men cause more accidents than women. Men are more likely to engage in the high-risk behaviors that cause most crashes, like speeding and drunk driving. 

Men also receive more than 70% of traffic citations for behavior like speeding, aggressive or reckless driving, and drunk driving. This is why insurance rates for men are usually higher than rates for women, especially for younger drivers. 

Here’s an overview of the data comparing male and female drivers, crash rates, and driving behaviors. 

Men Are More Likely To Speed

Nearly one-third of all motor vehicle crash deaths are speed-related. Male drivers are far more likely to cause a speeding-related fatal collision than women. In 2021, 20% of male drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding compared to 13% of female drivers. 

The difference is even larger among younger drivers. 36% of male drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were speeding versus 22% of female drivers of the same age. 

Men Are More Likely To Drive Under the Influence

Drunk drivers are involved in 31% of all traffic fatalities. Men are overwhelmingly more likely to be killed while driving under the influence. In 2021, 33% of male drivers killed in accidents had a BAC of 0.08 or higher compared to 23% of women. 

Men Are More Likely To Drive While Drowsy

Driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. One study found that people who slept less than four hours are about 11.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash. It’s estimated that 16.5% of fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. 

A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that men are twice as likely to say they have fallen asleep behind the wheel than women. 

Men Cause More Serious and Fatal Car Accidents Than Women

Male drivers are more likely to be involved in accidents that cause serious injury or death. In 2021, over 44,000 male drivers were involved in fatal traffic accidents, while female drivers were involved in more than 15,000 fatal accidents. More than 72% of drivers in fatal crashes were men. 

Men Are More Likely To Be Unlicensed Drivers

According to the NHTSA, about one out of every 10 drivers involved in a fatal accident are unlicensed. This includes drivers with expired or suspended licenses. Research shows that unlicensed drivers are more likely to engage in dangerous behavior like speeding and driving under the influence. 

In one recent year, 14% of car accident deaths involved unlicensed male drivers, while 9% involved unlicensed female drivers. 

Men Drive More Miles Than Women

Women drive about 30% less than men. Men drive 16,550 miles per year on average compared to 10,142 miles for women. When all other factors are equal, that alone increases the number of accidents involving male drivers. 

Women Have a Higher Accident Rate Per Mile Driven

On average, women are more likely than men to be involved in a car accident. Women were involved in 5.7 crashes per million miles driven compared to 5.1 crashes per million miles driven by men. However, men have a higher accident rate and drive about 30% more than women.  

That means while women have a higher risk of being involved in a collision, they are more likely to be minor accidents. 

Men Have a Higher Fatality Rate Per Mile Driven

According to the IIHS, men have a fatal crash rate of 2.1 per 100 million miles traveled. For women, the rate is 1.3 per 100 million miles traveled. 

This difference is starkest for younger drivers. 

  • Men 16 to 19 years old: 6.4 per 100 million miles
  • Women 16 to 19 years old: 3.3 per 100 million miles
  • Men 20 to 29 years old: 3.9 per 100 million miles
  • Women 20 to 29 years old: 1.6 per 100 million miles

A University of Michigan study found that men have a 1.5 times higher risk of being involved in a fatal crash per mile driven compared to women. 

Women Are More Likely To Be Killed or Hurt in a Crash

Women have a higher chance of being injured or killed in crashes of similar severity compared to men. This is mostly because men are more likely to drive vehicles that reduce their risk, while women are more likely to drive smaller vehicles. Women are also more likely to be in a vehicle struck in the side in a side-impact crash. 

Overall, women are 73% more likely to suffer serious injuries in a crash and 17% more likely to die. One factor increasing this risk is the fact that seat belts are designed for the average man at 5’9” and about 170 pounds. Crash tests are only required to use male-representing dummies, which leaves women unrepresented. 

Women are often not tall enough for a seat belt to fit safely. Rather than sitting across the shoulder and over the hip bones and lap, a seat belt on a woman may fit against the neck and across the lower abdomen. This increases the risk of serious injury rather than distributing force across the strongest bony parts of the body. 

Most Traffic Fatalities Are Men

In similar circumstances, women have a higher chance of serious injury or death – but overall, most traffic deaths are men. In 2021, 72% of motor vehicle crash fatalities were men. Males accounted for 92% of motorcyclist deaths, 86% of bicyclist deaths, 92% of car driver deaths, and 70% of pedestrian deaths. 

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney If You Were Injured in a Crash

While it’s important to understand and learn from accident trends, keep in mind the point of this is not to stereotype. Not all men are dangerous drivers, and not all women are safe drivers. Practicing defensive driving and avoiding high-risk behavior is an important takeaway from this data. 

Anyone can cause a serious crash with devastating consequences, especially while engaging in dangerous behavior like speeding or tailgating. If you have been hurt in a collision and believe another driver was at fault, we are here to help you.

Contact Our Ocala Car Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala car accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida:

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Ocala Office
112 S Pine Ave
Ocala, FL 34471
(352) 351-3258

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Downtown Gainesville
621 W University Ave
Gainesville, FL 32601
(866) 928-6292

Allen Law Firm, P.A. – Gainesville office
2550 SW 76th St #150
Gainesville, FL 32608
(877) 255-3652