Women drivers 'hit parked cars'

CarsWomen drivers are more likely than men to crash into a parked car - but men are more commonly involved in multi-car pile-ups or accidents where someone walking on the pavement is hit, an insurer has found.

Diamond studied more than 400,000 accident claims over the last five years to pinpoint the different types of collisions that male and female drivers are involved in.

The findings come after European "gender neutral" rules took effect last month, meaning that insurers can no longer take someone's sex into account when deciding how much they should pay.

Young women drivers have been among the worst affected by the rule changes, due to the relatively high accident rates of young men.

Diamond found that in general, women drivers tend to be involved in low-impact collisions in places such as car parks, while men are more often caught up in "destructive" high-speed crashes.

Diamond managing director Dave Halliday said: "Accidents caused by men are on average more costly than those caused by women.

"This was why in the past women paid lower insurance premiums than men.

"It's a month since the EU gender directive came in and our research clearly shows there are differences between men and women."

Researchers also found that overall, men are more likely to have their car stolen, suffer flood damage, have something stolen from their car and claim for fuel contamination.

Research from AA Insurance published this week found that the typical annual comprehensive car insurance policy for a driver who shops around fell to £789 in January, marking a 2.9% decrease on October and the lowest average since October 2011.