The results of a recent study suggest that man are almost three times more likely than woman to be arrested for driving drunk, a finding that is sure to spur plenty of debate between the opposite sexes.
According to a report from KIVI-TV in Boise, Idaho, which cited evidence offered on an auto insurance website, men are about three times more likely to be arrested for a DUI, reckless driving, or driving without a seatbelt.
And, before male readers unleash their outrage at potentially misleading statistics, these numbers are backed up by insurance company practices.
In Idaho, for example, average car insurance premiums are 14 percent higher for men than they are for women. It seems that car insurance companies, which have a vested interest in doing ample research on safe driving, buy into the adage that men have a tendency to be more reckless behind the wheel.
In addition to the findings about DUIs, the study also discovered that roughly 80 percent of accidents involving cars hitting pedestrians are caused by men.
Of course, not everyone is convinced that men are more aggressive drivers. The report interviewed local body shops in Idaho, which confirmed that they see a 50-50 split in body work requests from drivers.
In addition, anecdotal evidence from following police blotters suggests that women are frequently asked to submit to blood alcohol tests, though it must be admitted that more male offenders seem to dot the DUI headlines each week.
And, while the debate may continue between men and women about their driving habits, there are certain demographic trends that help guide police efforts to reduce the overall instances of drunk driving.
For example, it has been conclusively shown that young people are more likely than older drivers to be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Due to this reality, ant-DUI marketing campaigns led by local governments and non-governmental organizations tend to focus their messages on younger audience to maximize the potential impact of their ad campaigns.
Thanks to the success of these forms of targeted marketing, statistics showing the proliferation of male drunk drivers may ultimately lead concerned police to target their messages to specifically male audiences.
If, in the future, anti-DUI messaging is restricted solely to young males, incidences of DUI arrests may very well decline. However, while statistics help reveal the realities behind DUIs, the act of driving while drunk has proven to be very difficult to eradicate.
Each year, millions of people get behind the wheel after having too many drinks, and a painfully small percentage of these drivers are ever caught.
By targeting DUI enforcement to certain populations, such as young males, police officers may be able to put a bigger dent in the problem of drunk driving than they would if they were casting a wider enforcement net.
Yes, this could be viewed as gender or age profiling, but in a country that sees 40,000 traffic deaths each year, drastic measures could be necessary to reduce the number of fatalities on American roads.