Women Spend More Time in Traffic Than Men

On average, women spend longer in traffic than men—perhaps because of the gendered division of labor that still exists in many households.
May 31, 2016, 6am PDT | Elana Eden
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Bart Everett

In Pacific Standard, contributor Tristan Bridges reflects on traffic research suggesting that women make up the majority of congestion—and why.

Women may tend to leave for work closer to peak hours, but work seems not to be the driver of their time stuck in traffic.

When automobiles were first marketed for household use, they were targeted to married women, who were tasked with completing errands throughout the day while their husbands were at work.

Still today, most car trips are made for errands—and a majority of those errands are undertaken by women:

It’s a portion of the "second shift," women's disproportionate contribution to the division of labor inside the household even when they are working outside of the household as well.

Relatedly or not, women are more likely than men to combine multiple errands into one trip. (As Bridges notes, "Traffic experts call this 'trip chaining,' but the rest of us call it multi-tasking.")

Full Story:
Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 in Pacific Standard
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