Women now make up more than half of the U.S. population with driver's licenses and that has big implications for the auto industry and traffic safety, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
And that's not because of the old misconception that women are worse drivers than men, according to the university, which looked at driving data from 1963 through 2010.
"Females are more likely than males to purchase smaller, safer and more fuel-efficient vehicles than males," said Michael Sivak, a transportation professor at the university. "They also drive less and tend to have a lower fatality rate per distance driven."
Men now drive a third more than they did back in the 1960s, according to Sivak. But women have nearly doubled -- an 89% increase -- the miles they drive during the same period. Decades ago, men drove twice as many miles as women. Now it’s about 1 1/2 times.