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Why Do Women Usually Call Shotgun?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 01.16.10
Why Do Women Usually Call Shotgun?
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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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  • ajmorrison By ajmorrison

    I drive 65 miles each way to work so when I'm at home, he drives. I get tired of driving and like to relax. I do drive when we travel on long trips or if we're in a hurry because then I'm in control. Sometimes he tends to not be aggressive enough for me. If it's snowing, he drives because I'm terrified of driving in snow. I guess it's all a give and take and we share the driving.

  • treeplant By treeplant

    I don't mind driving country roads, but I tend to ride shotgun since I am terrible at driving and talking at the same time. I need to be totally focused on the road or could end up crashing the car!

  • justducky21 By justducky21

    I had no problem letting my husband drive, because then I could sit and read a book or take care of the kids. Now that I am single, I LOVE driving, especially country roads that I can go zooming down and not worry where I am going.

  • alexisbrooke By alexisbrooke

    Personally, i am so apart of this statistic. My reasonings for always sitting in the passengers seat are mostly because i trust my man to take care of me and drive safely. Usually when girls drive (at least for me), I like to talk,sing, or observe my surroundings. Women are more emotional in most ways and situations, therefore i feel we might have a more emotional reaction to something happeneing. For example someone cutting me off... i would yell and be angry and try and follow them to give them a piece of my mind. Whereas a man may say a curse word, and move on with thier lives. THE POINT FOR ME: I feel more safe with male drivers.

  • Foofie5 By Foofie5

    I would love to drive more, but my husband makes me feel like am so stupid. He watches every move I make, JESS just leave me alone. I should just get stronger and not let him bother me.

  • maineac By maineac

    I am not as big a fan of driving as my hubby is, so I fit the pattern described. Another reason, though, is that I never drive as well when he is a passenger as I do when he's not in the car... no good reason for this other than the fact that he looks/acts unhappy and it makes me uncomfortable, so I avoid it.

  • Britnev By Britnev

    Right now my husband is not working, hence not driving as much. So when it comes to weekends, he tends to drive and I am the passenger. I enjoy the chance to chill out and relax as a passenger. We also have our own cars and depending on the car, usually dictates who drives. I don't like driving so am all too willing to give it up. Now growing up, my Dad always did the driving. I asked my Mom and she said it was never a choice.

  • anamika By anamika

    It is mostly my husband behind the wheels when both of us are around. Its because,between the two of us, he likes driving more than i do. I also think that men are better drivers than women

  • pjclayton57 By pjclayton57

    I enjoy driving so I am always willing to get behind the wheel. I don't mind being a passenger either, depending on who the driver is of course! Being a passenger allows me to take in the sights more, but being the driver is safer in some instances!

  • summitqwestcomp By summitqwestcomp

    It depends on where we are going and how far we have to go. I don't mind driving, but mostly, I hand over the keys.

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