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The RAC Foundation has released information this week which suggests the gender gap on the roads has been dramatically decreased since the mid-1990s.
In fact, in the USA the number of women drivers has overtaken men for the first time, and the latest projections in the UK suggest that it won’t be long before Britain follows suit.
New evidence reveals that not only are more women taking to the roads but they are actually driving much further than in the past with mileage rates rising by more than one fifth between 1995 and 2010.
This is great news for women who in the past were assumed to be the passenger more often than not on longer car journeys.
Stephen Glaister, the director of the RAC Foundation said: “Women are in the overtaking lane when it comes to licence holding. No longer are they sat in the passenger seat, simply along for the ride.”
“Greater social and financial independence has increasingly put them in the driving seat and it is entirely plausible Britain will replicate the United States where female motorists are now dominant.
The latest stats released by the RAC reveal that in 1995 there were 15.1 million male drivers as opposed to just 9.2 million women drivers, but by 2010 the gap had closed dramatically to 16.3 million women versus 19 million men. The proportion of women holding driving licences has also risen by 14 per cent during this period to 64 per cent.
The shrinking of the gender gap between male and female motorists is a direct reflection of society today. It is clear that women of today’s era lead more independent lives than in the past with more females heading out to work, and perhaps getting married later or delaying having children in order to concentrate on a career, with more women taking to their cars for journeys such as the daily work commute.
It is predicted that with more women living longer and a higher female life expectancy, it will eventually lead to women outnumbering male motorists, which will have a massive impact on car manufacturers.
Garel Rhys, emeritus professor of Motor Industry Economics, and Director for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff Business School, said: “It means they (manufacturers) will have to design, specify and make vehicles for the general market and not just the male one.”
“Cars will have to have a gentler line and not be as heavy on the steering with a greater emphasis on safety.
“Women are not interested in the macho image and statistics show that they are more careful drivers.”