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Are Women Really Inferior Drivers? We Finally Have a Scientific Answer

Out of all the findings of the Shell Driving Experiment, I think this one stood out among the rest. Maybe because a lot of the attendees of the ‘What Drives You’ event held last February 27 at Whitespace were men, or maybe regardless of gender, everyone was eager to know the answer to the age-old question.

As it was revealed in Shell’s findings, the short answer is no. Women drivers are not inferior to men. Hah! But how did they arrive at this conclusion?

Shell used a cutting-edge emotion tracking technology (a wristband that looks like a Fitbit, and it measures your current mood or state of mind), ChatBots, mobile apps, and weather and traffic monitoring systems to uncover how the emotions of drivers affected their performance on the road.



Cleary Ahern, one of the panelists and an analyst from Goldsmiths, University of London said

“Filipino drivers are high performers on the road. Scoring more efficient, in fact, than any of the other 11 countries that we’ve studied to date, which is pretty amazing. So to drive efficiently in the Philippines as I’m sure you know, is not easy. Driving conditions here are often quite challenging from traffic, as I’ve experienced first-hand, road works and pedestrians, which I’ve also experienced first-hand, to unpredictable weather”.

Ahern shared that of all the factors in determining one’s driving performance, gender was very likely not one of them. More than gender, personality type was more likely to dictate your driving style. They were able to uncover the 2 types of Filipino drivers who perform well—the Gamma Woman and the Modern Man.

The Gamma Woman is open and has emotional stability both on and off the road, which leads to exceptional driving performance scores. They are independent, strong-minded, and not submissive to Alpha types.



The Modern Man is a combination of sensitive and ambitious personality traits, who is able to maintain a well-balanced emotional state behind the wheel, and exercises caution to achieve high performance scores.


L-R: Boom Gonzales, Cleary Ahern, Nadine Tengco, Michele Bumgarner, Jericho Rosales


Both personality types were represented at the event with champion racer Michele Bumgarner, and Jericho Rosales, a motoring enthusiast, who were later joined by health and diet guru, Nadine Tengco.



Bumgarner said that “being a race car driver and being in motor sports, especially traveling at high speeds, I think that’s where my Gamma woman abilities come in because I have to make split-second decisions. I think being calm and keeping a level-head is very important.”

Other factors that come into play are the company we keep when we drive (traveling with kids and other passengers show better driving), stress levels (studies show that drivers on their way to work are more stressed than people traveling for other purposes), and of course, hungry-ness, which we all know first-hand is something that really affects the way we drive. Hanger is real, people.

So now that we know that gender is not a factor in one’s driving performance, maybe we can all stop saying ‘ah babae kasi’ when we see female drivers making mistakes on the road. It could very well be that she’s just hungry. And everybody knows we’re not liable for what we do on an empty stomach.