Sur­vey: Most cus­tomers pre­fer fe­male chauf­feurs

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By MENGJING and LU­OWANG­SHU

Although there is a widely held sex­ist view that women are nat­u­rally bad driv­ers, a new sur­vey shows that most peo­ple pre­fer a woman be­hind the wheel of a chauf­feured car they’ve hired.

“The num­ber of women con­tract driv­ers has tripled in the first half of 2015 com­pared with 2014,” said the re­port from E-Dai­jia, a com­pany that pairs driv­ers with clients who have their own ve­hi­cles­but­donotwishorare un­able to drive them­selves.

Ac­cord­ing to E-Dai­jia, 81 per­cent of cus­tomers sur­veyed this year said they pre­ferred to have a fe­male driver, an in­crease of 20 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

The re­port, re­leased on Wed­nes­day, found that most of the cus­tomers in­ter­viewed said fe­male driv­ers are more care­ful than men.

In ad­di­tion, many fe­male cus­tomers are more likely to hire women to drive their ve­hi­cles be­cause of safety rea­sons. Some male cus­tomers also said they pre­fer fe­male driv­ers.

Since drunken driv­ing was listed as a crime in China in 2011, busi­nesses pro­vid­ing driv­ers have thrived.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, 33 mil­lion cus­tomers called con­tract driv­ers through E-Dai­jia from Jan­uary to June, a 210 per­cent in­crease from 2014.

The busi­ness of hir­ing chauf­feurs is grow­ing fast in ma­jor cities — in Chengdu, Dalian, Wuhan and Chongqing, growth has ex­ceeded 100 per­cent.

Chongqing res­i­dent Chen Xi calls con­tract driv­ers af­ter con­sum­ing al­co­hol at din­ner.

“It is very con­ve­nient to call con­tract driv­ers and the cost is rea­son­able,” he said.

The Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity des­ig­nated Sept 9 “Na­tional No Driv­ing af­ter Drink­ing Day”. In Chi­nese, the num­ber 9 has the same pro­nun­ci­a­tion as the word for al­co­hol.

“I hope we can hold ac­tiv­i­ties on Sept 9 ev­ery year, as a cus­tom to re­mind peo­ple to say no to drunken driv­ing and cher­ish lives,” said Yang Ji­a­jun, CEO of E-Dai­jia.

The com­pany es­ti­mates that dur­ing the first half of 2015, 700,000 road ac­ci­dents could have been caused by driv­ers un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol who in­stead chose to hire some­one to drive their ve­hi­cle.

Since 2011 when the law took ef­fect, the num­ber of al­co­hol-re­lated road ac­ci­dents has dropped.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity, al­co­hol­re­lated ac­ci­dents have dropped by 25 per­cent since 2014, and ca­su­al­ties by nearly 40 per­cent.

Con­tact the writ­ers through lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.

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