A study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute has determined that for the first time ever there are more female than male drivers in the U.S. And yet the women-only Honda Fit hasn’t caught on stateside. It’s almost like all these ladies are driving gender-neutral cars. Weird.
The study found that in 2010 there were 105.7 million female drivers (or, well, females with driver’s licenses) to 104.3 million males. The U of M researchers who authored the study note that this new female majority could impact the environmental standards of major car manufacturers, as other studies have shown that women are more likely than men to purchase more fuel efficient cars and drive less. [INSERT JOKE ABOUT "OVERCOMPENSATING" HUMMER-DRIVERS HERE.]
Though the study is interesting by itself, the part that caught my attention was, as put by Gizmodiva, the hypothesis that “the changing demographics may have something to do with increased Internet usage. The percentage of young drivers was inversely related to the availability of the Internet, which could mean that virtual contact reduces the need for physical contact.” That would mesh with how the study found that the number of drivers between the ages of 25 to 29 decreased significantly between 1995 and 2010 (by 10.6% for males and 4.7% for females).
What do you think? Does that theory hold water for you? Personally, I stopped driving about four years ago, but that’s because I moved to a place with public transportation. I still have a license, though. I feel like I’m personally responsible for skewing the study. I’m sorry for contributing to your margin of error, Transportation Research Institute!
I think I speak for a lot of 25-29 year olds when I say I’ll take to the roads again when someone invents a working Hoverboard.