Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dodgy Drivers?!

One thing that really bugs me about Oman is that there is still a misconception around that women are worse, and more dangerous drivers than men. This is a bit of an outdated opinion as we are afterall in 2010 and women have been driving for a considerable amount of time. I'm not going to argue that women are better drivers than men but that they are equally capable. In fact, considering Oman's horrendous accident rates (28 in 100,000 people in comparison to the global average of 19) it seems that neither women nor men have the right to be cocky!

So as I have been persistently informed that women cause more accidents I thought, perhaps Omani women just can't drive, because this is certainly not the case in the UK (in fact there is more literature than not arguing that women are safer drivers). But this just doesn't seem plausible. So I had a little look into it. I couldn't actually find statistics on the cause of accidents by gender but I did find in The Oman Fatality Statistics 2008 that 86% of deaths caused by road accidents are men as well as 75% of injuries. Interpret these statistics as you will.

Anyway, after my many rants about the fact that there are car insurance companies in the UK which provide women with cheaper insurance because they deem them to be safer drivers, I was happy when I found an advert in Y magazine for car insurance exclusively for women. I'm hoping this one has the same sentiment, showing support for women drivers in Oman, although I suspect its just a marketing ploy.

(It's probably best to look ahead of you)


  1. LOL, that is because in the good 'ole days alot of Omani ladies passed their dirving tests with very little testing ie parking was never a part of it, so you could enjoy hours of women struggling with SUVS in huge parking spaces. Not worse drivers, but traditionally (this generation is the old guard not the new) worse parkers for sure.

    I am a woman saying this so please forgive, just comes from a long Oman experience.

  2. Oh yeh I never thougt to blame the authorities!...If you're not taught properly how can you be expected to drive properly?
    But that must also apply to men too, or did they have a different test?!

  3. Victoria: The male instructors tended to be harder on the men than the women. Now they have both men AND women doing the tests so it has gotten better.

    Exception being those with wasta (ie friends with their driving instructor and / or test conductor). I have a male friend who never even had to be tested (lol) because he was friends with the son of the man doing his test.

    Male instructors tended to pass the girls before (like 10 years ago) without failing them even if they screwed up alot because it was a nice thing to do for a girl. You don't see that too much anymore so it has definately improved. But the old stereotype remains (even from that guy friend of mine who go his license with never learning how to drive: that women drivers in Oman don't know what to do sometimes). Yes, they sit there in traffic confused, while my friend (also a horrible driver) just charges ahead lol and CAUSES the accidents.

  4. Great post on a popular topic. When doing my driver's exam in Oman (just half a year ago) I was a witness to the test conductor failing his (female) student right on the spot. They got into the car, buckled up, and he told her to take a right out of the car park, despite the huge "no right turn" sign, she insisted on being a good law abiding citizen, and followed his instructions. 5 seconds later she had a "failed" stamp in her test book. I don't know if that justifies the means or the methods...The police are a lot harder here on women who are taking the exam. They are also noticebly nerveous when they climb onboard to evaluate the exam, for a the 10 minute spin around Qurum at 7 am, with a tired, sleepy and often snappy future driver...

  5. I've been driven into the back of, and had another driver pull a U-Turn right in front of me across 4 lanes of traffic, and I hit that car.

    Both cases the drivers were men.

    Having said that, I had to swerve and test my ABS the other day when a women just pulled out of a lane right in front of me without stopping. Apparently she was deep in conversation with her passenger and didn't see me.

    Luck of the draw I reckon.

  6. A short video on the topic:

  7. Male Omani drivers are more reckless, hands down. Women in this part of the world tend to be more careful in everything (studying, driving, planning their careers etc.)

  8. Male Omani drivers are DEFINITELY more reckless and they seem to think speeding and not wearing seatbelts will make them cooler and more 'respected'. Bah.

    Women are more careful in general. I haven't seen ONE car accident involving a woman in the past four years and I see male-related car accidents on a semi-daily basis on my way to and from work! Salalah traffic sucks!