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Do female stereotypes in the auto industry hold any validation?


It’s no secret that the auto industry holds gender stereotypes. Traditionally, men are considered to have a better knowledge of vehicles and to be better drivers. However, in the last year, most of us have been driving less and staying at home. It’s important to keep your driving knowledge up to date and fresh in your mind. Every driver should understand what goes on under the car bonnet and how to perform safety and maintenance checks. 

Is there any truth to the prejudices about women in the auto industry?

Jardine Motors tested 1000 motorists on their vehicle safety knowledge and maintenance procedures with the ‘show me, tell me’ element of a practical driving test in the UK. They found that a staggering number of drivers would struggle to pass this part of the driving test today. Most participants struggled to identify the correct warning light for an issue with the anti-lock brakes. Over half couldn’t change a flat tyre, check the brake fluid or even know how to check the car battery. The survey results were concerning and clearly indicate the UK’s motorists are ill-equipped to perform routine safety checks. 

Women outperform men

However, the results also revealed that women performed better than men on the safety and maintenance test. A greater percentage of women answered every question correctly except one, compared to men. In fact, over half of the men in the survey were unable to perform various safety checks. A whopping 68% of men didn’t know how to check their breaks, compared to 54% of women. A third of men couldn’t check tyre pressure, compared to only 23% of women. While both sexes undoubtedly need to improve their safety practices, men seem to have a larger gap in their vehicle knowledge. The female stereotype in the auto industry appears to have been proven wrong. 

Lockdown and drivers

The gaps in our vehicle knowledge may be down to not driving as much in the last year. People continued to make short drives to the supermarket or to see family members from a social distance. However, most people did not drive for an extended period where they are more likely to conduct safety checks beforehand. For example, you are more likely to check tyre pressure before a five-hour drive than a ten-minute trip to the shop. 

As the world opens back up, motorists need to refresh their vehicle safety and maintenance knowledge. Maintenance checks can reduce the risk of a road accident and keep you and those driving around you safe. It’s important to remember that your driving habits can have detrimental consequences for those around you.

Every driver should keep their vehicle knowledge and driving skills up to date. Take a refresher course if you need to touch upon a few skills or safety procedures. Always keep safety at the forefront of your mind when driving.