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Women drivers may soon outnumber men

Women drivers attract a lot of criticism from both men and their own kind for their occasionaly questionable driving skill. Fairly or unfairly, these criticisms don’t look as if they’re going to go away any time soon, as new research suggets the number of female drivers is rising at more than twice the rate of male motorists.

This was the last time Sandra let her husband borrow the car.
This was the last time Sandra let her husband borrow the car.

A survey by the RAC Foundation claims that between 1995 and 2010 the number of women with a driving license increased 23 per cent from 2.6 million to 13.8 million. There are still more men on the road, but their numbers have seen a more modest 9 per cent increase – up 1.4 million to 16.3 million.

Some male motorist demographics have actually seen a decline in numbers. There are now fewer men in their 20s that hold a license – down 0.3 million to 2.4 million, a fall of 11 per cent. What’s more, the average distance driven by men is on the decline, while that figure for women is, you guessed it, on the increase.

The average mileage of female motorists has increased by 479 miles to 2,960 miles – a 19 per cent jump. In contrast, the average mileage of men over the same period dropped by 1,298 miles to 5,554 miles – a decrease of 19 per cent.

Again, men still drive more miles in total, but the gap is definitely narrowing.

Some (definitely not us — especially if our mums are reading this) might argue that last figure is due to women getting lost and going in circles repeatedly, while others believe the figure can be explained by the fact women have become more independent over the years.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation which published today’s dossier said: “Over the years women have swapped the passenger seat for the driver’s seat. They are increasingly leading independent lives with more and more of them going to work, getting married later, if at all, and delaying having children. Women are on the move like never before and it is the car that is getting them about. “

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