Following recent research by the AA which said a large proportion of drivers are regularly distracted by their passengers; a subsequent survey of road users by insurance provider Aviva says that more than half of women get wound up when their partner is in the car with them.
Some 53 per cent of lady car lovers said that they feel stressed or nervous when driving their partner anywhere and this has an adverse effect on their driving skills.
In contrast, one in ten male drivers said that having the partner with them improves their driving as it makes them a much more cautious motorist.
However, nine per cent of men said that they refuse to let their loved one drive their car.
A fifth (20 per cent) of that number stated that it was because they felt that their partner’s driving skills were not to the standard of their own. 26 per cent said it was because their vehicle is too powerful and 16 per cent said they feel their partners is not a confident enough driver.
Some 16 per cent of males also believe that their partner is inept at parking.
Despite men clearly believing that they are by far the best road users, 13 per cent of women said they believe their partner is overconfident and 10 per cent feel they drive recklessly or simply too fast.
Questions around different journey types found that men are without question the dominant drivers in a relationship.
On longer journeys, 78 per cent of males said they would drive and on motorways and country roads men are also most likely to be behind the wheel (78 per cent and 74 per cent respectively).
On top of this, 33 per cent of male car enthusiasts said they would consider driving in bad weather compared to just five per cent of ladies.
However, one area where women do tend to be the main driver is when it involves the household or children, such as the school run. 48 per cent of women said it is their duty to cart the kids around compared to 25 per cent of men.
More than a third (34 per cent) of women said that they were most likely to avoid drinking and be the designated driver after a night out, compared with 26 per cent of males.
“While men in relationships might feel more comfortable taking on the majority of driving, it is important that both men and women regularly get behind the wheel to ensure that their skills remain fresh,” Heather Smith, Aviva’s director of marketing, said.
“As this research shows, women are less likely to get behind the wheel when in a car with their partner and this has affected their confidence in their abilities, which shouldn’t be the case, particularly as other statistics actually show that women are safer drivers than men as they are involved in fewer accidents.
“Simple measures such as sharing the responsibility for longer or more challenging drives, or considering your partner’s confidence when you are in the car together means that everyone can get the most out of driving and keep their skills topped up.”
While for most it’s an enjoyable experience to be able to get out the car shampoo and waxes on a warm day, Aviva’s findings suggest motoring relationships between the sexes is something that equally needs to be polished.
Aviva says you should give your relationship an MOT and suggests supporting your partner’s driving as much as possible.
Last weeks similar survey by the AA found that criticising or distracting someone while they are behind the wheel was one of the main causes of road accidents.
Posted by Simone Williams