June 14, 2013 at 2:14 PM ET
It seems that German motorists — yes, the ones that race at high speed on the country’s Autobahns in their sporty cars — have realized that women are the better drivers.
A new survey of more than 1,000 people — conducted by German-based AXA Insurers — shows that 38 percent of those polled expect women to react to dangerous road conditions better than men. Only 24 percent believe that men would do better.
It’s a matter of experience, many women say.
“On average, women have more driving experience. In my family, my husband takes the train and I use the car for shopping errands or when I take the kids to school,” says 42-year old Mirjam Gasse.
“And I believe that women are the better drivers because they are far more anticipatory and forward-looking in their driving style,” Gasse, a mother of two young children, adds.
Statistics show that age also plays an important role when it comes to the performance of male and female drivers in Germany.
“Young men under the age of 25 cause more accidents with higher damages compared to women in the same age group,“ says Thomas Jaeckel, a vehicle insurance specialist at AXA insurer.
“In regard to the claims expenditures that reflects a difference of 25 percent,” Jaeckel told NBC News.
And, it appears that experience in life increases people's appreciation of women at the wheel. Those questioned, who were between 55 and 64 years old, were more likely to say that women are the better drivers.
In comparison, younger respondents in the survey believe that men are better equipped to take on German roads.
Among the 18 to 24-year olds, 43 percent believe that men are better drivers, while only 29 percent say the same about women.
“Maybe when it comes to parking a car, men have an advantage because women often have problems with measuring distance and assessing the width of spot,” says 24-year old Johanna Bonescu, “But, despite that, I would say we are the better drivers,” she adds.
Problematic for everybody, according the poll, are severe weather conditions, road works and darkness.
47 percent of the women polled admitted that they experience difficulties when driving in the dark, while only 27 percent of the male respondents regard darkness as a challenge.
But, when it comes to construction sites on Germany’s roads, both sides are in agreement: They're a headache for all.
In the poll, 32 percent of men (compared to 33 percent of women) stated that they feel "uncomfortable" around construction sites.
Johanna Bonescu, who enjoys driving her high-power BMW as often as possible, says that one cliché is true: Germany is a car-loving nation.
“Whether it is male or female, people here in Germany have a very special relationship to their car.”