Risk on the Roads – A Male Problem? (PIN Flash 25)

  • June 15, 2013

Just under 30,400 people were killed in 2011 in the EU27 in road collisions, approximately 7,200 females and 23,200 males. Females account for 51% of the total EU population but only 24% of road deaths. This percentage has changed by only one percentage point since 2001, but the reduction in female deaths since then has been four percentage points greater than the reduction in male deaths. Males account for 76% of people killed on the roads in the EU in 2011.

In the EU on average 95 men are killed on the roads each year per million male population, compared with 28 women per million female population. Males have more than three times the death rate of females on the roads in the EU. Hypothetically, if all EU road users used the roads like females in their respective countries do now, the road mortality rate across the EU would be about 20% lower than the average for the SUN countries, and even in the countries with the highest road mortality it would be no higher than it is in Germany now. Males are killed on the roads mainly as car drivers and motorcycle riders while females are killed mainly as pedestrians and car passengers.

There is extensive evidence to show that men have a higher rate of collisions than women. In addition to having a higher number of collisions, men incur their first collision earlier in their driving career and are more likely than women to be held to blame for the incident. Female drivers are less prone to risky driving behaviour, in particular speeding, and have more positive attitudes towards traffic regulations and safety.

These differences between men and women should be recognised and gender-differentiated policies developed in relevant areas.