More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Are Asian Women Bad Drivers?

My work friend, Hien, had taken some photos of another work friend, Jessie, and how she had parked her car. As you can see from the photos below, it isn’t the best parking in the world. Some unsuspecting person such as Tin is demonstrating below can walk right into the car and hurt themself. :-)

This has prompted me to write this post about Asian women drivers. To begin with, lets talk about Jessie. She admits that she is a bad driver and knows that when we joke about it we don’t mean anything mean towards her. I’ve only been in Jessie’s car once, and let me tell you, there were some tense moments. A group of us always go out to lunch on Friday and Jessie usually doesn’t want to drive, she has driven only once before according to my memory. However that one time I wasn’t in her car, but another work friend, Jeffrey, had joked the whole time at lunch about how bad she was. I didn’t really believe him as I thought he was just joking.

Anyway Jessie is a very tense driver. She sits bolt upright in the car and all her attention is fixed on the road. She has to know where she is going so can change to that lane well in advance. As she says herself, she only drives from her house to work and back, that’s it. This is not dissimilar to my aunties, who only drive to the shops to do their grocery shopping and to each other’s houses. This is probably a good thing for the rest of us seeing as they bought their licenses. More on that later.

I don't think I'm stereotyping when I say a majority of older Asian female drivers are pretty bad drivers. I should know, I live in Springvale where most of Victoria’s older Asian female drivers come each week to buy their Chinese groceries and I see first hand how they drive. I have seen so many accidents and near accidents in Springvale due to these ladies not knowing the road rules. The problem is that most of them have poor English so to be able to get a license, they have to pay for it. I know of two aunties who bought their licenses. You give the “instructor” about $2000 and he gives you the answers in the written test. Then he arranges it so that you are given the driving test by someone they know or even themself and will pass you regardless of how you really drive. This means there are lot of people driving on the streets that don’t know the rules fully. They continue to drive that way thinking it is correct, causing lots of accidents because other people expect them to do something else. I was at a round about and expected the lady on my left to give way to me so I continued on only for her to also keep going. Luckily I braked really hard just in time to avoid an accident. She then drove away happily not even knowing that she nearly caused an accident.

So you might be asking, why aren’t men from similar backgrounds just as bad. Well they probably are at the beginning. Older men though still seem to have better reaction times than older women so can sometimes avoid accidents due to reacting to it faster. Also, since the male is usually the main driver in a household (in Asian families anyway), they quickly learn from their mistakes in many varied driving situations. After a couple of crashes or close calls they will learn to try and understand the road rules better. Since the females only drive in limited situations, they may be lucky and not have any accidents or major accidents. And since they think that they will only continue to drive in limited situations, usually they don’t bother trying to learn the rules even after an accident.

What are you opinions on this topic, are stereotypes of Asian women as bad drivers correct or just another urban myth? Feel free to leave comments.

Edit: As a follow up to this story, about 8 months after I wrote this post, my friend and I got into a real accident involving an Asian woman driver who had no clue how to drive at all. You can read the post here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asian women are not bad drivers. All women are bad drivers!!!

3/08/2006 2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, I think I made a mistake... I should not taken the photos because People say "Women" are bad driver... and I'm a woman. I don't think I'm a bad driver, Thanh has been in my car many time. Well I am sure that not all women are bad drivers and also not all men are good drivers. Hold up you hand if you are not at least once in your "driving time" make a driving mistake.d;-)

3/08/2006 9:50 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

I totally agree with you Hien on points 1 and 2 below.
1) YOU are a good Asian woman driver
2) Not all women are bad drivers and not all men are good drivers.
3) In GENERAL, I do think most Asian women are bad drivers.

3/08/2006 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I should let you know that my aunty and my wife are actually very good drivers. BTW they both are Asian women. I have seen my aunty survives the crazy traffic and bumper to bumper parking in Paris. On the other hand, my wife overcomes the peak hours aggressive LA traffic without getting shoot at, that would just said it all !

However, I have observed both of them are quiet relax and claim when they drive. So Jessie, may be you should just relax while you drive. Perhaps listen to some your favourite music may help.

I think young people (whom think they are invincible) with powerful cars are properly just as worst and if not more dangerous than some lady driver on road.

This is my 5 cents worth....

3/08/2006 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's because most of Asian women don't need to drive when they are young so it's a little bit difficult for them when they are getting old and suddenly need to learn to drive ;-).

3/08/2006 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus it's very hard to improve the driving skills when they don't like to drive and have no interest to drive :-).

3/08/2006 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Somehow, some Men believed that it's their duty to drive their lady. That's why the lady has less chance to practice d;-)

3/09/2006 10:32 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Isn't that a good thing. Personally if I had someone to drive me around, I would rather not drive and just be a passenger. You can practice your driving by being my personal driver.

3/09/2006 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately i must agree. There are many reasons for why asian women in particular are bad drivers, the fact remains that they are an absolute nightmare on the road.
I live in Los Angeles and get first hand experience in this matter daily.

By no means am I exaggerating when I say that 40 out 50 times I have had a near vehicular collision, it has been with an asian female - of any age.

Some say it's the language barrier, other say it's b/c of their driving experience in their homelands, and others may just have some cocky racist opinion to add...

...but it will always boggle my mind as to why drivinng seems to be such a difficult task to a sober asian female.

9/24/2008 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy do I wish I knew. Yours was the first web page I found when I googled Are Asian Women Bad Drivers? I live in L.A. I've been driving nearly 40 years in Canada and California. I've been hit 3 times in the last 5 years, twice by female Asian drivers, which seems dissproportionate to me.

When I see someone driving SLOWLY and badly, it's always always a female Asian behind the wheel. Yesterday: the f.A. in front of me turned right on a red as if she'd never done it before, then, in the block between there and the left turn onto a freeway ramp, swerved (slowwwly) half-way INTO THE ONCOMING LANE... then I lost her. As I got on the freeway, which was moving great, I noticed one lane up ahead was nearly stopped. There she was, in the middle lane of 5, going 45 where everyone else was going 60, leaning forward, gripping the wheel as if she was bringing in the U.S.S. Enterprise.

I don't get it.

5/03/2009 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an hour ago I was pulling into the post office parking lot, which is only single-lane traffic. There was Asian woman driver waiting for someone to back out of a spot (who hadn't even started their car yet) while there was an EMPTY SPOT two spots over. So here she is holding up the entire lane because for some Godforsaken reason she wants the spot that's still occupied rather than the free one practically next to it.

Asian women should be forbidden from driving.

Or at least be superglued to their driver's seats so as not to be instakilled by their air bags from leaning so close to the wheel.

12/04/2009 6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just the lack of road knowledge. Many of these accidents are matters of common sense. If, like me, you live near tens of thousands of Asian-Americans, you know that we're talking about people who make these same mistakes when they're on foot or on bicycle. The answer is socio-psychological; they come from a culture of mindless collectivism. Furthermore, women in their culture are excessively pampered and not accountable whatsoever. I have Asian friends and I'm not being racist. Go somewhere laden with Asian tourists - they plow into you on foot, they back into you, and they pose for pictures absolutely everywhere - making everyone else awkward.

8/08/2010 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the Diamond Bar area where most of the drivers are Asian. OMG....the women are definietely the worst drivers I've ever seen. There are accidents and near/accidents in my town ALL the time!! Why are they so tense? The men are a little better but not much. They all need to stay OFF the road!

9/26/2010 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's what i told my wife before i left

8/11/2011 7:59 AM  

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