US: women reach record tally of driven miles image

The latest University of Michigan study has concentrated on a segment of the consumer market that might be referred to as the “soccer mom” – showing that women are today driving more miles than ever.

According to research done by Michael Sivak, an official of the U-M’s Transportation Research Institute, women behind the wheel logged 40.8 percent of the total miles driven across the United States back in 2013, when the overall tally was of 1.21 trillion miles. “The observed gender trends in driver licensing will likely have major implications on the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption, and road safety,” Sivak said in the report. “This is the case because, compared to males, females are more likely to purchase smaller, safer, and more-fuel efficient vehicles; females drive less; and females tend to have a lower fatality rate per distance driven.” When it comes to exact numbers, women actually make up the majority of US drivers – 50.5 percent of all drivers accounted on the roads at any given moment, with 105.7 million female drivers to 104.3 million licensed male drivers.

Back in 1963, the first year the study has data on, women made up 39.6 percent of all drivers and they only logged 23.8 percent of all miles driven in the US annually. But last year, women made up for 4.8 million new vehicle registrations, according to HIS Automotive. And that grew from 2.8 million, or 37 percent of the overall market, just half a decade ago. And the women are also influencing heavily the decision making process of new vehicle purchases, with numerous studies claiming they have influence over 85 percent of acquisitions.