South Asia

Delhi police say women drivers are safer than men

A woman driver in Delhi (File photo)
Image caption Police say women drivers are more careful

Women drivers in the Indian capital, Delhi, account for less than 1% of all fatal road accidents, police say.

Of the 1,147 people arrested for fatal crashes last year, only eight were women. Their involvement in non-fatal accidents was less than 2%.

This challenges the popular notion that women are unsafe drivers, chief of traffic police Satyendra Garg says.

Although there are more male drivers on the city roads, the number of female drivers is constantly growing.

A BBC correspondent in Delhi says an earlier survey by an industry body showed popular perception to be that that women were more aggressive drivers and caused more road fatalities.

But facts now tell a different story.

"We have compiled data for the past three years and it answers the question whether women are unsafe drivers or not," Mr Garg told the BBC.

This year, there were 12 women drivers among the 736 cases of fatal accidents recorded between January and September, he said.

"The numbers do not support the thesis that women are poor drivers."

Mr Garg agrees that there are fewer women than men who drive, but he says he has observed that women are far more cautious behind wheels than men.

"Overall, we can say women are more careful drivers. They are less daring and more sincere and that makes them safer," Mr Garg said.

With more than 6.5 million vehicles, Delhi has one of the most complex traffic networks in the world. Traffic is described as chaotic and it is often the city with the highest number fatal accidents in the country.

Officials say there is no data on how many women drivers the city has, but it is a fact that more and more women are taking to driving in Delhi.

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