A Fresh controversy has born on Internet and its regarding women drivers. According to an ongoing investigation into the catastrophic accident that claimed the life of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, the Mercedes GLC’s driver at the time was renowned Mumbai gynaecologist Anahita Pandole. While travelling from Gujarat’s Udwada to Mumbai, Mistry and his brother-in-law Jehangir Pandole died instantly, while Anahita and her husband Darius Pandole sustained serious injuries. According to the initial investigation, the driver’s “error of judgement” and overspeeding may have contributed to the automobile accident.
As the news spread, social media users started using this to run a hate campaign against female drivers. Microblogging site Twitter is littered with comments like – “women drivers are dangerous”, “I hate women drivers”, “these ladies can never drive properly”, “I’m scared of a lady driver”, and so on.
Numerous studies demonstrate that, contrary to popular belief, women are safer drivers than men, debunking the myth that they can’t operate a vehicle safely. According to a recent analysis by fleet intelligence provider Netstar, reported incidents of vehicle crashes, hard braking, harsh acceleration, and violent cornering as a percentage of all male and female customers were gathered from telematics data. And the intelligence firm found that women outperformed men on all metrics.
In comparison to men, who made up 1.4% of Netstar’s overall customer base during the measurement period, women consumers registered 1.3% more vehicle impacts (such as striking potholes, kerbs, or other vehicles). Registered occurrences involving hard braking represent 16.9% of female drivers and 22.8% of male drivers. For extreme acceleration, women experience a 4.5% rate while men experience a 10% rate. 13.2% of women experience harsh cornering compared to 18.8% of men.
In order to protect women’s safety, it is frequently difficult for women to obtain driving positions due to stereotypes.
But now, things are altering. Consider Parvathy Arya, a truck driver from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region. As the first female truck driver in Asia, she holds the Guinness World Record. A large number of state governments are influencing the transformation. Vankadarath Saritha, the Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) first female bus driver, was appointed in 2015 to increase women’s safety and security when using public transportation.
Women-only cab services like Women on Wheels, Womencabs, and Gcabs in Delhi, She Taxis in Kerala, and Viira and Priyadarshani in Mumbai are all doing their part to protect women and dispel prejudices about female drivers.
Mumbai-based Rachna Tyagi, an auto reviewer and a former auto journalist says it is unfair to use Cyrus Mistry’s death to spread hatred against women drivers. “It’s not about women being bad drivers. Everyone needs to be a responsible driver from the moment you get behind the wheel and even before you fasten your seatbelt and switch on the ignition. In fact, it starts from checking whether your car tyre’s air pressure is okay even before you open the driver’s door and get in which also includes being completely alert while on the road, sans any distractions,” says Tyagi, who also runs an independent auto website Turn Of Speed.