Is there really a difference between male and female drivers?

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You’ve probably heard a driver – or even yourself – utter a comment under his or her breath: “Darn that female (or male) driver!”

Is there really a difference between male drivers vs. female drivers? According to accident reports and safety statistics, yes, there is. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all women or all men are bad drivers.

* Seat belt use is higher among females than males according to an August 2009 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

* When it comes to distracted driving, the percentage of drivers visibly manipulating hand-held devices while driving was higher among females than among males, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey.

* In a 2007 study done by the NHTSA, male drivers were 42 percent more likely than females to have a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of .08.

* The gap between men and women significantly narrows when it comes to how a driver responds to a situation or incident happening on the road. Men are only 8 percent more likely to give an aggressive response then women.

Reports and studies also show that men tend to spend more time behind the wheel than women, which increases their likelihood of being involved in car crashes.

Your driving record – no matter if you are male or female – most likely is the biggest factor in how much you pay for car insurance. If you can keep your record clean – with no crashes or traffic violations on it – there’s a good chance you’ll be spending less money on your insurance.

And when you get behind the wheel of a car – again, no matter if you’re male or female – put these safe driving practices to good use to help keep your driving record clean:

* Require seat belt use for all riders, and all drivers in your family.

* Put away all distractions, including music players, phones, computers, books, etc.

* Aggressive driving can lead to crashes, traffic tickets and potentially road rage. Follow the traffic laws, and try to avoid aggressive driving tactics like frequently switching lanes, tailgating or speeding.

* Don’t drink and drive.