More women have driver's licenses than men in US

Associated Press
This Nov. 2, 2012 file photo shows Diane Spitaliere and her pet dog Izzie sitting in her car outside her house in Alexandria, Va. Women have passed men on the nation’s roads. More women now have driver’s licenses than men, a reversal of a longtime gender gap behind the wheel that transportation researchers say is likely to have significant safety and economic implications. Spitaliere, 58, a retired government worker  says:  “I want to be in my own car for as long as possible. I want to be independent for as long as I can.”  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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This Nov. 2, 2012 file photo shows Diane Spitaliere and her pet dog Izzie sitting in her car outside her house in Alexandria, Va. Women have passed men on the nation’s roads. More women now have driver’s licenses than men, a reversal of a longtime gender gap behind the wheel that transportation researchers say is likely to have significant safety and economic implications. Spitaliere, 58, a retired government worker says: “I want to be in my own car for as long as possible. I want to be independent for as long as I can.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Women are passing men on the nation's roads.

A study by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute says more women have driver's licenses than men. That's a reversal of the longtime gender gap behind the wheel. Researchers say that's likely to lead to safer, smaller and more fuel-efficient cars, fewer miles driven and lower fatality rates.

If current trends continue, the gap will only widen. The study, which looked at gender trends in driver's licenses between 1995 and 2010, says the share of teens and young adults of both sexes with driver's licenses is declining, but the decline is greater for young men.

The share of men ages 25 to 29 years old with driver's licenses dropped 10.6 percent. The share of women those ages with driver's licenses declined by about half that amount — 4.7 percent.

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