Gender Trends May Impact Vehicle Design
"The changing gender demographics will have major implications on the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption and road safety," said Michael Sivak, co-author of the study.
Other findings from the study show that, for the study years covered, the proportion of people under the age of 30 with a driver's license has declined. Among people between the ages of 25 and 29, there has been a decline in licensing of 4.7% among females and 10.6% among males. Recent data also indicates that 25% of drivers under the age of 20 have never gotten a driver's license and are on the road illegally.
According to the study, this shift in driver demographics may be due to the cost of buying, insuring and maintaining a vehicle, as well as increased use of technology among younger people. "Virtual contact," Sivak said, "reduces the need for actual contact."
UMTRI researchers say that if current trends continue, the gender gap will continue to widen, resulting in fewer miles traveled per year and lower traffic fatality rates.