In situations that occur after a motor vehicle breakdown, men are three times more likely to suffer fatalities or injuries. A new report car care specialists Comma studied figures from the Department of Transport (DfT) which reveal that men are far more careless on the hard shoulder than women.
In a 15 year period up to 2008 there were 2,058 deaths or injuries among males on the hard shoulder of the motorway, as opposed to just 768 female incidents. The statistics relate specifically to roadside breakdowns.
While statistics show that men do tend to travel more than women, the DfT shows the gap is at around 20%, meaning the level of accidents among males is disproportionately high. Comma speculates that in the event of an accident men are more likely to be proactive and also more likely to investigate or fix the problem. Road safety advice warns all motorists to move away from the crash to a safe distance until professional rescue services arrive.
Psychologists have also suggested men like to be seen to be the saviour in times of accidents and that greater egos lead to greater injuries. Most men also claim to have a working knowledge of cars when many in fact do not. Women, however, prefer to leave things alone and follow safety rules more out of the simple notion that they do not want to get themselves dirty.
Women also have been found to wear brighter clothing in the evenings which make them more visible on the hard shoulder. Unlike other European countries Britain does not require car owners to carry high visibility clothing with them at all times in the vehicle which can improve visibility to other drivers by up to 400%.