In the past months, my interest in women behind the wheel grew at the speed of light. My project started with the idea of reviewing cars from the point of view of an average woman, who has fears when driving a new car and who knows nothing about automotive technical specifications.
Now I want to bring to your attention (besides test drives) another kind of content, which will take my project closer to its objective of inspiring women who drive: interviews with ladies in the automotive industry. You will have exclusive access to their thoughts as queens of the road and their answers might (hopefully) help you boost your confidence as a driver 🙂
My first interview features one of my favorite lady bloggers: Caroline Kidd. I’m absolutely in love with her writing style and I’m super happy that she accepted to answer my questions. Here’s what came out:
Hi, who is Caroline in a few words?
I’m a motoring journalist and car blogger based in Ireland. I love cars and driving and I’m the founder and editor of an Irish car blog called Changing Lanes. I’m also a jury member for Irish Car of the Year!
How did you come up with the idea of an auto blog?
My background is in journalism and after graduating I quickly found myself gravitating towards motoring writing. I set up Changing Lanes because I had already begun to make contacts in the Irish motoring industry and I was receiving cars to review. I was motivated by a passion for cars and the motor industry, a desire to express that through words, and a belief that there was a gaping need in the automotive industry for young female voices like my own. Changing Lanes celebrated its fourth birthday in June and is now one of Ireland’s leading motoring blogs.
Which are your top 3 favorite cars (all time)?
1) Ferrari Testarossa. The noise, the power, the passion! Utterly inspiring.
2) Volkswagen Golf. The Golf is unpretentious and stands the test of time. There is something comforting about the Golf’s longevity and gentle evolution over 40 years. The attention to detail in the design and finish of the cars also makes the Golf feel more special than rivals.
3) Ford Focus RS. I would always want a fast Ford in my dream garage. The Ford Focus RS is exciting and visceral like no other car I’ve driven. The Audi R8 V10 Plus came close but in Ireland, the R8 is about five times the price of the Focus RS.
How would you encourage a woman who is afraid to drive?
You don’t want a life where you always have to rely on other people to drive you places.
Do you think there is misogyny in traffic?
I have no way to measure if women receive more scorn than men do from other (male) road-users if they make a mistake on the road or drive too slow. But I think there is still a very strong stereotype of the “woman driver”. The theory that a woman is useless at driving just because of her biology is completely ridiculous. But this stereotype does not go away and scorn directed at women on the road is just another example of an underlying current of misogyny in our society. I have a hunch that in these moments of rage it becomes less about being wronged on the road by another road user, but more about being wronged on the road by a woman.
Why should women take their driving license?
Learning to drive a car is a great life skill.
What do you like most about driving?
I do some of my best thinking in the car. There is freedom in the open road that opens the mind to all sorts of possibilities and creative solutions. I’m also lucky to drive a new car each week so I love to test the car’s performance.
Recommend three cars that are suitable for women
BMW 5-Series. The 5-Series is fun to drive and because it’s a BMW you can really make the car your own from the color of the leather to the material for the dashboard inserts, and the size and design of the wheels. It’s big, refined and powerful on the road and gives the driver a premium hug every time!
Jaguar F-PACE. The world is going crazy for SUVs right now but the Jaguar F-PACE has the kerb appeal, sporty driving dynamics and pedigree to make it top kitty!
Honda Civic. I’ve driven numerous versions of the Honda Civic in the last year and loved every one of them. For buyers on a budget looking for a car to suit every occasion, the Civic is spacious, comfortable and fun to drive with superb petrol and diesel engines on offer.
Do you have a funny story to share from behind the wheel?
On my first ever car launch I stalled the car in front of a bunch of journalists and PR people just in case there was any doubt that I was anything other than an amateur! Not my finest moment.
What’s your message for lady drivers?
“Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car.”
I find Caroline’s answers really inspiring and I’m looking forward to featuring her again in my project! Meanwhile, you can say hi at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out her work on www. changinglanes.ie.
I wish you all a great day and quality shoes 🙂