x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Male drivers 'don't hesitate'

Newly licensed Andre Neves, from Brazil, says men are more confident drivers than women.

Andre Neves, 18, from Brazil, says he thinks men are generally "more confident" drivers.
Andre Neves, 18, from Brazil, says he thinks men are generally "more confident" drivers.

Abu Dhabi // Almost two months after passing his driving test, Andre Neves is taking on the streets of Abu Dhabi without a second thought.

"Many people here could have their licence, but choose not to because of how fast everyone drives," the Brazilian student said. "That wasn't a concern for me."

While cruising the streets of the city, Mr Neves, 18, often keeps only one hand on the wheel, but overall he is a well-behaved driver who tries to abide by the speed limits.

"Well, I follow the 20 kph buffer," he said. But he was unaware that the buffer soon will be eliminated by the Abu Dhabi traffic police.

"I find it completely unnecessary to speed. People are always in a hurry. Just give yourself enough time," he said. "Driving is something I enjoy doing; there's no reason to rush things."

Mr Neves, a student at the American Community School, said he believed men generally were "more confident" drivers.

"They know how to handle certain situations," he said. "Of course, there are exceptions."

He recalled a narrow escape while driving with a family friend. A speeding car in front braked heavily as it approached a radar. Mr Neves said his friend's response prevented a serious crash.

"At first, he pressed the brake. But then he looked in the rear-view mirror and saw that there was another car close behind. He decided to release the brake, so that if the car hit him, the impact wouldn't be as drastic.

"He knew exactly what to do, whereas a woman probably wouldn't know how to handle the same situation," he said.

Mr Neves said his friend took a calculated risk and avoided hitting the car in front. When the car behind rear-ended their vehicle, the impact was minimal.

Significant variations in driving styles often resulted in compromising situations, Mr Neves said.

"You have men who are overconfident on the roads and think they can get away with anything. Then you have women who hesitate too much before they make a decision," he said.

"When you put the two extremes together, you get a dangerous driving environment."