A study conducted by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoette of the University of Michigan Transportaion Research Institute (UMTRI) finds men, regardless of caste or creed, are less likely than women to still be driving after they have crossed the age of 45, a tendency that shows no sign of slowing in the near future.
The researchers evaluated driver’s license statistics in the US of a period dating back up to 15 years, from 1995 to 2010. According to the findings, in the year 1995, 89.2 million men held licenses as opposed to 87.4 million women, and more men held licenses than women up until the age bracket of 70. Women only took the lead post the 70-year-old mark, a fact consistent with life expectancy trends at the time. But in 2010, the reversal in this trend appeared as early as the age of 45. In the same year, it was also noted that women overall held more licenses with 105.7 million licenses in possession of women, as opposed to 104.3 million licenses held by men.
The researchers go on to explain that this pattern does not seem like it will change direction any time soon either. They claim that due to a variety of reasons ranging from car costs to the rise of social media, the number of applications for a license has also fallen in the US, with the number of young women holding licenses falling by 4.7 per cent between this period of 1995-2012, but the number young men holding licenses in the US fell by almost twice as much, by 10.6 per cent, and there’s no telling whether this might change as time progresses.
This data could shape the approach of the big car makers in America, as women lean towards using lighter, more mileage-conscious cars that contain more safety features. This could result in a further upswing of the popularity of smaller cars.
In the context of the Indian market, if the trend in the United States does change track to adapt to this phenomenon, how long will it take until the rest of the world, India included, follows suit?
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