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All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

April 25, 2006

Written by C.N.

Asian Drivers: Good or Bad?

In my daily read of AutoBlog (a blog about automobiles) I saw a post mentioning that Garmin is coming out with a StreetPilot portable GPS device that is targeted to Asians in North Americans and will be able to give voice directions in five Asian languages. As expected, there were comments from other AutoBlog readers deriding the driving abilities of Asians, but actually most came from other Asians:

Now if only it would drive for them. I keed, keed…my mom is one of those horrible old Asian woman drivers.

I’m so sick of Asian/Woman Driver jokes. We are all horrible drivers at some point, and I can guarantee it has nothing to do with RACE. Distraction and exhaustion would more likely be the cause of poor driving.

It’s no joke here in the Bay Area. 90% of the road incidents I have are because of Asian women drivers. Hey man, I’m Asian and so is my mom, and it sucks there’s that stereotype. But every single Asian woman, at my mom’s age, is a crappy driver. That’s a fact, not a joke or a stereotype.

Anyone who said anything bad about Asian drivers should actually try to drive in an Asian city, especially large ones like Taipei or Dehli. I doubt any one used to American pussy-ass traffic can survive even for a few minutes.

Any old lady in the world would drive ridiculously slow.

So the question becomes, are Asian drivers worse than other drivers, even after controlling for age, etc.? And how do their driving abilities compare to drivers in densely populated Asian cities where it’s the norm to completely disregarding traffic laws? Does being able to safely navigate your way through that chaos constitute good or bad driving?

Perhaps more important, if many Asians agree that Asians tend to be bad drivers, does that mean that it’s no longer a hurtful stereotype about Asians?

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Asian Drivers: Good or Bad?" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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