Women 'unnerved by male passengers'

Women often tend to get nervous when driving their male partners, although most men are quite comfortable in the role of passengers, according to a new study.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said only 5% of men it surveyed admitted to not feeling relaxed when their female partner is driving.

However, 15% of women said they are sometimes not relaxed and 8% are never relaxed when they are driving their partners.

The IAM said the proportion of women who consider themselves confident drivers is around half that of men. Also, more women drivers are unnerved by fellow motorists than their male counterparts.

In general men are four times more likely to drive than women when couples go out together, but if they are returning from a party or a pub, the female partner is more likely to be at the wheel.

The survey of 520 men and 480 women drivers also reveals that the least nervous and most confident drivers - both male and female - are in Yorkshire and Humberside, while the least confident drivers are in north-east England.

IAM's policy and research director Neil Greig said: "The findings are positive and dispel a lot of previously held misconceptions, particularly about women drivers.

"While women are still more nervous in certain environments, such as in fast-moving traffic and bad weather, we encourage them to take the steering wheel more often, and to get as much practice as possible."

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