The AA Charitable Trust is urging male drivers not to ignore their driving fears after figures reveal how unlikely they are to seek help with their driving.
The figures show women are more than three times as likely as men to put themselves forward for driver refresher training that the charity provides free.
Just 22% of drivers who put themselves forward for help with a free Drive Confident course, delivered by AA driving instructors, are male.
Yet this confidence is misplaced as official figures show men are more than twice as likely as women to be killed or seriously injured on the roads.
The gender gap reduced for drivers putting themselves forward for Drive Smart, which teaches safer and more eco-friendly driving techniques. But women (53%) were still more likely than men (47%) to take the course.
Drive Smart is free for ‘at risk’ drivers – those who have had an accident or points on their licence within the previous 12 months. Statistics for these courses, which launched in 2009, show drivers in the South East (30%) are three times as likely as those in the North East (11%) and North West (10%) to take Drive Smart.
Young drivers (21-25) were the most likely age group to take the Drive Smart training for free through the AA Charitable Trust.
The statistics coincide with the announcement of a further 2,000 free courses to help nervous, rusty, lapsed and dangerous drivers get back behind the wheel with renewed confidence and competence.
Thanks to a grant from the FIA Foundation, the AA Charitable Trust has developed a template for the courses. This will allow other motoring clubs to roll out similar road safety initiatives internationally.
Edmund King, director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “Drivers should not let pride get in the way of improving their skills. Everyone, no matter how long they have had their licence, can become a safer driver and we all have a responsibility to ensure our skills are up-to-date. Males shouldn’t worry about their male pride being dented as further driver training can reduce the risk of them or their cars suffering from dents. There is nothing to lose from asking for help if there is an area of your driving you think could be improved.
“There is clearly a need for quality, qualified driver tuition and I am delighted the AA Charitable Trust is continuing to support drivers by offering this free training.
“I have high hopes that our template will also allow other organisations to roll out similar initiatives worldwide and help improve road safety on an international scale.”