The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in a recent study that women are more than twice as likely as men (65%) to accidentally push the gas pedal rather than the brake during the event of an accident.
And to this report, I must say, “thank you.”
It’s not that I had ever had an argument with a woman about her driving, but I have always felt just a tad bit on the unsafe side (I tried to put it delicately).
Was it wrong for me to feel this way? I don’t know. I didn’t want to feel this way. I didn’t want to think those thoughts. Thoughts that we were about to careen into the back of a vehicle while in the middle of traffic. I didn’t want to brace for impact every time we drove onto a driveway near a garage door. I didn’t want to yell for those small children to run from the streets while we drove past. I didn’t. But…but I did. And I was sorry for those feelings.
But thanks to this study, I feel like I have a new lease on life.
If I’m ever asked why I’m stomping the invisible brake on the passenger floorboard, I will just respond with “65%.” That’s all I will have to say and they will know. They will understand that it’s not me. It’s science. It’s the fact that if a wreck took place due to accidental gas pushing, 65% of the time a woman is driving.
I will show her – a date, a girlfriend, a friend, my mom – the data from the North Carolina police reports that helped in the study – if ever more proof is needed to back my “65%” declaration.
I will not apologize for being afraid. I will gladly wear my fear on my face.
Women, however, are not alone on the list of potentially dangerous drivers.
The study also showed that people under 20 and over 76 are quite dangerous with the gas pedal. But I can’t blame these demographics too much. The 20 and under group are still trying to figure out which pedal is which, and the 76 and over group probably keep forgetting which pedal is the brake. But who I am to judge? If you can drive, then drive. To quote Dumb and Dumber, “Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose.”
The study also reported that men were involved in 57% of all car accidents and were three times more likely to be killed in a car accident. But that’s probably because that’s our alternative for asking directions.
-Dustin Bass, @dbass_cmn