Male drivers are extra nice to women

2012-01-09 12:50

Sydney – Men show greater courtesy to women in traffic, giving way to women drivers more often than they do to their male counterparts, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia.

The study also found that women behave in similar fashion, braking to let men in more often.

The role of gender in road courtesy appeared to work both ways, researchers Redzo Mujcicc and Paul Frijters found, with women drivers on a main thoroughfare more likely to let in male drivers entering the traffic flow from a side street than their own female counterparts.

They observed a total of almost 1 000 right-of-way events in the state capital of Brisbane. The study showed that drivers allowed others in front of them in almost 40% of cases, observed just before a traffic light or roundabout.

Men stopped 42% of the time in this situation, and women 37%, with the researchers concluding that the difference found in the study was not statistically significant.

But when taking into account the gender of the driver entering the main flow of traffic, the researchers found that 22% more men than women let a woman in from a side street, and 15% more women than men let a man in.

The biggest effect on driver courtesy, however, was made by the presence of a passenger in the car that had right of way. This increased driver willingness to let others in by a full 25%, the researchers found.

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