Women drivers closing pass gap in South Tyneside
The gap between male and female driving test pass rates narrowed in South Shields during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new figures.
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency data shows that of 410 tests taken by male drivers at South Shields Test Centre between April and June, 218 were successful – a pass rate of 53%.
Of the 381 tests taken by women, 49% were passes.
Although figures for the same period in 2020 were unavailable due to lockdown restrictions, in 2019 women had a success rate of 42% – compared to 52% for men.
Nationally, 49.2% of tests taken by women between April and June were passed – a higher proportion than during any similar period on record.
Though the male success rate also rose, the gap between the two genders (4.7 percentage points) is now the closest it has ever been.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “While it’s encouraging that the gender driving test pass ‘gap’ appears to be closing, only time will tell whether this is a trend that continues as the number of people taking tests starts to return to normal.”
The AA said the difference in pass rates between men and women is a long-term trend.
A DVSA spokesman said practical and theory tests are designed to measure a candidate's ability to drive safely and responsibly as well as making sure they know the theory behind safe driving.
He added: "All candidates are assessed to the same standard and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.”