February 15, 2006,
Men and women don't see eye to eye when it comes to rating the driving skills of their significant others, according to a Chrysler Group "Bad Weather Driving" survey that polled more than 1,000 adults and revealed an overwhelming 68 percent of men claim to be better drivers than their significant others.
Forty-nine percent of women, on the other hand, think they are as equally skilled at driving as their male counterparts and more than one in four women (26 percent) say they are better drivers than their significant others.
Even though men and women rate their driving abilities very differently, both genders have the same opinion about driving in bad weather conditions. Eighty-four percent of men and 86 percent of women identified icy roads and pouring rain as the two most difficult weather conditions for driving.
Additionally, the same situations that make male drivers uncomfortable were identified as frustrating by female drivers. Seventy percent of both men and women said the possibility of losing control of the vehicle or having to swerve for an unexpected object in the road made for the most unnerving driving situations.
"In this season of unpredictable weather and constantly changing driving conditions, both male and female drivers can benefit from modern technology in their vehicles," said Frank Klegon, Executive Vice President Product Development, Chrysler Group. "Our latest models come equipped with features that have changed how well drivers can maintain control of their vehicles on the road."
Last year alone, there were more than one million weather-related traffic accidents according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
So what's changed and what do drivers need to know to stay safe?
- Stop Pumping Those Brakes — In the past, drivers were told to pump their brakes to keep them from locking up. Newer vehicles are now equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), which means drivers can apply maximum brake pressure without fear of locking up the tires or skidding out of control.
- Burnin' Rubber No More — Spinning tires are a thing of the past for vehicles with a Traction Control System (TCS). This technology prevents tires from spinning on normal or slippery surfaces by applying brakes as needed to control wheel spin.
- Sticking to the Straight and Narrow — To keep vehicles on the road during emergency swerves and other quick maneuvers, an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) applies selective throttle and braking to the appropriate wheels to get a swerving vehicle back on course. This technology becomes especially valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions such as snow, sleet, ice or gravel, but it works on all surfaces.
- Stop, Drop and Roll — The chance of a vehicle rollover is much less of a concern for vehicles with Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM). If driving conditions approach a rollover scenario, ERM applies a burst of full-braking power to the appropriate wheel to help stabilize the vehicle.
Additional Survey Results
- Weather Worriers: Only seven percent of drivers identified heavy snow as the most difficult weather for driving. Sleet and strong winds were identified by four and three percent of adults respectively.
- Not-So-Modest Men: Only five percent of men admitted to being worse drivers than their significant others; 25 percent of women said their significant others were better drivers.
Chrysler Group and Goodmind, LLC, a New York City-based research and consulting firm, conducted a nationwide survey to learn what drivers had to say when it came to assessing their driving abilities and testing their bad-weather driving skills. The four-question survey was fielded nationwide via telephone methodology to 1,082 respondents ages 18 and older. Statistical testing was run against subgroups using t- and z-tests yielding results with a 90 percent confidence interval.