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20 September 2010, 00:00 | Updated: 20 September 2010, 07:56
New findings revealed today that men are naturally better drivers than women, following an experiment involving over 70 pre-school boys and girls who took part in a series of controlled tests. The research was conducted using electric Roary the Racing Car ride-ons at world-famous motorsport circuit, Brands Hatch.
Results were analyzed based on concentration, spatial awareness, dexterity, control and overall speed in a series of three trials. The examination included a straight race from start to finish, a reversing test and a manoeuvring challenge around cones. The findings proved that although girls were slightly quicker off the mark at the start of the race, boys were 34% better at concentrating and demonstrating visual-spatial skills whilst driving in a straight line. Although, girls overall speed is 5% faster than boys when racing straight, boys are 20% better than girls at maintaining their line.
Pre-schoolers aged 3-4 years were deemed best for this study to test natural driving ability. According to child psychologist, Donna Dawson, boys and girls develop significant differences in brain structure, hormones, and are influenced by culture and society a lot more after this age.
Donna Dawson comments: “We analysed the driving skills of pre-schoolers to ensure, as much as possible, that it was a level playing field to find out which gender is naturally superior. The research proved that the boys came up trumps, but that the girls also excelled in different areas, such as listening and better hand coordination.”
When manoeuvring around cones, boys pipped the girls on speed by 10%, whilst girls had greater focus and better hand dexterity. Surprisingly, the reverse test reveals that boys are 17% better than girls at doing two things at once such as moving and steering whilst looking over their shoulder.
Specialists from the hit children’s programme, Roary the Racing Car (the motor racing ambassador for the under-5’s), worked with Brands Hatch’s leading motoring experts and Donna Dawson, to create the tests that were overseen by FIA Formula Two Championship Driver, Jack Clarke, and Brands Hatch Senior Driving Instructor, Alan Wilshire.
Jack Clarke comments, “While the boys were better at applying the theory and their scores were more consistent, I think overall the girls were better at taking in information. Motorsport is fast becoming a much more mixed sport and there are certainly a lot of female drivers - such as Danica Patrick and Natacha Gachnang, who I have raced against in Formula Two - coming through and some are beating the top male drivers.”
Keith Chapman, co-creator of the hit children’s programme comments, “We investigated the myth ‘are men really better drivers than woman’ using pre-schoolers as Roary the Racing Car is a recognised authority on motor racing for children aged 2-5 years. The boys and girls had a lot of fun on the track. We wanted to give them a great experience as well as achieve conclusive results about which sex is better behind the wheel. My wife is devastated by the findings!