New data from University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute shows more women in the US have drivers licenses, compared to men: 105.7 million women versus 104.3 million men in 2010.
Younger drivers ages 25 to 29 are declining overall, with young male drivers declining at a faster rate than young female drivers. For those over the age of 45, women drivers outnumber the men.
“The changing gender demographics will have major implications on the extent and nature of vehicle demand, energy consumption, and road safety,” Michael Sivak, co-author of the study, told the Washington Post.
He also told Automotive News, “Females are more likely than males to purchase smaller, safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles, they drive less and tend to have a lower fatality rate per distance driven.”
Additionally, the study found that African-American and Hispanic drivers were also on the rise. This is in line with a 2011 report from R.L. Polk & Co. that found that African-American, Asian, and Hispanic women were leading the way when it comes to purchasing cars as well. Looking specifically at these ethnic groups, vehicle purchase share for women was 45.4 percent in 2010, an increase from 40.7 percent in 2006. Overall vehicle purchase share for all women was 38.5 percent in 2010.
In a blog post about the findings, Marc Bland, product strategist and multicultural marketing lead at Polk wrote, “women as a collective group are a force to be recognized when it comes to auto purchases. Special attention should be applied to Asian and African American women as they are nearly on par with their male peers when it comes to auto purchase decisions.”
As women take a larger role in driving and car ownership, it will impact the way automotive companies not only advertise, but also the types of cars and features they produce. Media reports have gone so far to say these preferences could change the face of the auto market. We are women, hear our engines roar!