Why Do Women Usually Call Shotgun?

   By drodriguez  Jan 16, 2010

If you tend to hand over the car keys whenever you travel with your family then you are not alone.  A recent survey shows women are far more likely to sit in the passenger seat when riding with male household members.  According to sociologist, Pepper Schwartz, even the households that would label themselves as holding feminist values have men behind the wheel a lot more often than women.

A recent article from New York Times brings to light some statistics from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding women and their habit of riding as passenger.  ATUS reports that women spend 29 percent of their time riding in cars as passengers whereas men spend only about half that, 14 percent.

One theory of why men may drive more is that they tend to work longer hours outside of the house than women and are alone in the car more often.  Families with higher incomes do not show as much of a gap with men driving more since each household member tends to own their own car.  But this doesn’t explain why when men and women are together, it is usually the man driving.  The 2001 National Transportation Survey reports men are three times more likely to drive than women when sharing a ride with household members. 

Do women just not want to be bothered by the stress of driving and decide to take a break when traveling with a male partner?  Or are women better navigators than men and take that role on when traveling with men?  Or is it something else entirely?

What do you think?

Do you tend to hand over the keys in your household and if so why?

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mainemama by mainemama | Lewiston, ME
Feb 16, 2010

I let my husband drive most of the time when we are going somewhere together. Like someone else posted, he thinks he is the best driver on earth, and makes comments about my driving, so I just let him do it. Plus, I don't mind just sitting back and enjoying the ride.

805Therapy by 805Therapy | Ventura, CA
Feb 16, 2010

So we can drive from the passenger seat :)

smooney1202 by smooney1202 | pittsburgh, PA
Feb 16, 2010

If we take my car, I usually drive unless the weather is horrible or I don't feel well. If we take his car, he usually drives. On long trips we share the driving, but I have to admit that he drives more and I sleep more, lol.

mrsdeniseb by mrsdeniseb | GOVE, KS
Feb 12, 2010

We share the driving. My husband will drive to town so I can get shopping lists done. Then I will drive home. It works out great for us.

krys2000 by krys2000 | COLORADO SPGS, CO
Feb 04, 2010

I drive everywhere. I am just as capable and frankly, I think I drive better. I enjoy it. My husband's driving makes me nuts so I would rather drive than have to worry about his old lady driving habits.

big_black_cat by big_black_cat | Calera, AL
Feb 02, 2010

I let him drive because I have a 74 mile round trip commute five days a week. He only drives about 14 miles per day. He likes to drive and I really don't.

katybear826 by katybear826 | Milford, MA
Feb 01, 2010

Huh. This is funny, cause when I think about it, it's definitely true. I think I always hand over the keys if we're going out as a family. Well, to be fair, we are almost always in his truck (which I can't drive). I think if we did take my car, I would probably drive. Weird...

opinion_bout_everythang by opinion_bout_everythang | Jackson, OH
Jan 29, 2010

I drive all the time. My husband doesn't like to drive and tends to pout if I ask him to drive. This used to drive his parents crazy. They kept making rude comments until he set thiem straight.

cybrown551 by cybrown551 | HOOKSETT, NH
Jan 28, 2010

Absolutely, I hand over the keys to my husband because I will prefer not to take on the stress of driving long trips. I would rather drive shorter trips. And yes I do a better job at being the backs seat driver. I'm great at observing giving orders and navigating and he's pretty good at following my directions. So absolutely, I hand over the keys to my husband because he complains of my driving too slow.

taraware by taraware | WINCHESTER, KY
Jan 28, 2010

I hand off the keys to my husband as often as I can. On road trips, I like to be able to relax, watch a movie with the kids or read a book. My husband would much rather drive than entertain the kids so it's an easy trade off!!!!

trishbos by trishbos | LaCamp, LA
Jan 27, 2010

I like to get my husband to drive as often as I can. With my husband working in another country I enjoy the break when he is home.

HJFinnie by HJFinnie | Ypsilanti, MI
Jan 27, 2010

I hate to drive, and love to talk to my husband. He likes it when I drive, but I like to be able to talk with him and not worry about the road. I gladly hand the keys over.

amariebrown82 by amariebrown82 | Dallas, TX
Jan 27, 2010

This one is so so simple! We hate to hear the fuss. My personal experiences are men sit in the passenger seat and complain about your driving the entire trip. So me, personally, I just let him drive to avoid hearing his mouth...lol!

stefaniek99 by stefaniek99 | SILVER SPRING, MD
Jan 26, 2010

My fiance and I are currently separated by a 5 hour drive. When he drives 5 hours to see me, I drive us both around for the rest of the weekend and vice versa when I drive to see him. In general though, he does like driving more than I do (he's an mechanical engineer!).

kaffetime by kaffetime | Blanchard, ID
Jan 25, 2010

My husband likes to drive so much better than I do. When we are together he always drives. It is the same when I am with my father in the car. But if I am traveling in my car with my sons or other men that are friends or acquaintances I prefer to do the driving. My daughter and her husband share the driving depending on which car they are using.