According to a study by the University of Michigan, women now outnumber men on US roads for the first time in the country's history. Analysts at the school's Transportation Research Institute used data from driver's license statistics for their findings, and the trend may have a widespread impact on the automotive industry as a whole. The researchers predict that if the trend continues, it could affect everything from vehicle design to traffic fatalities and fuel consumption. The study concludes that women are more likely than men to purchase vehicles that are smaller, safer and more fuel efficient, and that they drive less over all than their male counterparts.
The study looked at trends in driver's licenses over the 15 year period between 1995 and 2010. Over that time, the number of men between the ages of 25 and 29 years old with licenses dropped by 10 percent, while the number of women in the same age bracket fell by only 4.7 percent. In 2010, 105.7 million women could legally drive, while only 104.3 million men could say the same. Contrast that with the 1950s, when around half of adult women could operate a motor vehicle.