China / Society

Survey: Most customers prefer female chauffeurs

By Meng Jing and Luo Wangshu (China Daily) Updated: 2015-09-10 07:52

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 vehicles but do not wish or are 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, alcohol-related accidents have dropped by 25 percent since 2014, and casualties by nearly 40 percent.

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