IN the last decade, female motorists in Ireland have received half the number of penalty points than their male counterparts. And the latest year-to-date statistics for 2020 from the CSO have not bucked this trend, with men clocking up a total of 34,431 points from January to April, and their female counterparts incurring 16,587 in the same period.
Experts at the newly launched online insurer MissQuote.ie say that a look at the figures from 2009 – 2019 indicates that women are the safer of the sexes when it comes to driving.
Speaking of their analysis, Deirdre McCarthy of MissQuote.ie: “I think it’s fair to say that these figures show that women are more cautious and compliant on our roads. Year on year men continue to ‘outperform’ women when it comes to incurring penalty points.
"An analysis of the figures over a decade (2010 – 2019) illustrates that women drivers in Ireland have received a total of 669,157 points, while men have been hit with a whopping 1,217,346 – or 88% more.”
The insurance experts say that although the reasons behind this are unclear, driver behaviour is an obvious factor. They caution people from putting it down to representation on the road, because as of 2019 there were 1,542,538 licenced male motorists on Irish roads, representing 53% of all drivers, and 1,364,654 female motorists, representing the remaining 47% (2,907,192 – total)
Ms McCarthy went on to say: “There has been a consistent gulf over the last decade between the numbers of points received by men and women. There’s no denying that men and women behave differently on the roads, and this is evidenced by the fact that while the top two reasons for incurring penalty points are the same for both genders, namely speeding and driving while using a mobile phone, the following three vary.
“Whether you’re male or female, employing safe driving behaviour on our roads is absolutely crucial, and incurring penalty points will hit you financially when it comes to renewing your car insurance policy.
"Depending on the insurer, points could typically cost you up to €250 extra in premiums, while other insurers simply won’t quote for drivers who have more than a certain number of points. Motorists are rewarded for good driving behaviour by the way of lower premiums for No Claim Bonus discounts and not having penalty points.”