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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:09 am 
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A recent study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Bureau claims that there are more licensed girl motorists than men in the United States This reverses a gender gap that has existed when driving for some time, notes the AP. Experts suggest that the license shift will have significant impacts on safety technology and economics. Have you been in the market to purchase or sell a used or new van? If this portrays you, check into the inventory at Gus Johnson Ford.

A larger gender space than before

The information compiled in the driver's license - trends measured for information from 1995 through 2010 - study suggests that the gender gap will continue to widen. The percentage of licensed motorists among teens and young adults is down for both sexes, but it is down substantially among young men.

The changing gender demographics will have major implications on the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption, and road safety," noted study co-author Michael Sivak. “Women are more likely than men to purchase smaller, safer and more fuel-efficient cars; to drive less, and to have a lower fatality rate per distance driven.

Over the course of the study sample, the number of licensed male motorists aged 25 to 29 dropped by 10.6 percent. The amount of licensed female drivers only experienced a 4.7 percent decline, a statistically significant difference, considering that male drivers have outnumbered female drivers since the beginning of the automotive industry. By 1995, however, males with a driver's license outnumbered female 89.2 million to 87.4 million. In 2010, licensed female motorists wound up on top, 105.7 million to 104.3 million licensed males. Women outnumbered male motorists in the key demographic groups aged 45 and over, also as in the 25 to 29 age group. The share of women who retained a license was also up.

I want to be in my own car for as long as possible. I want to be independent for as long as I can," said Diane Spitaliere, 58, a survey participant.</blockquote>

Data on older women

The only group where men had more licenses than females was the segment of males under the age of 44. This is likely due to the fact that there are more males than females in that group. Women live longer than males and outnumber them in the older age groups though.

Young men, the Internet and lack of a license

Younger men have realized that they can get in touch with people at a moment’s notice with smartphones and the internet. Sivak explained that in a University of Michigan study, it found that those who spend more time on the internet with social media, online gaming and more are less likely to get their licenses as soon as possible.

There is some suggestive evidence that Internet contact is reducing the need for personal contact," he said.

In addition to extra time online, another trend in the decrease of license penetration among young men appears to be related to the “erosion of the car-fetish society,” notes travel behavior analyst Nancy McGuckin.
Today's young adults grew up in the back seat of cars stalled in congestion, hearing their folks swear at the endless traffic. Nothing romantic about that!" she said. Plus, it's “no longer cool to work on your own vehicle,” and young people have become increasingly disconnected from auto maintenance as a result.

Evidently it becomes less important to get a license when you do not care about automobiles.



Not easy to get employed

Financial reasons for the shift in gender space with the driver's license relate to employment rates, notes McGuckin. Those aged 16 to 24 are working less than ever, and the rate of young men aged 18 to 34 has gone up in terms of how most are still living at home. The rate of young women in that age group who are living at home is significantly less than that of men. Unemployment and underemployment, particularly among young men, has made auto insurance less affordable, which in turn has decreased the amount of those who are driving.

Sources

AOL Autos
Auto Alliance
USA Today


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