Big shift in who's driving and what

The face and appetites of the 21st century driver are changing fast.

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and the Publicis HealthFront. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley

For the first time more women in the U.S. have a driver's license than men. Its just one of the major shifts in modern driving.

According to the same University of Michigan study, the proportion of teens and young adults with license is down, especially for males. Men 25-29 showed a big 10.6% drop in license holdership in the 15 years up to 2010.

That leaves a greater share of women out there driving, and they tend to buy smaller cars that use less gas and they tend to have lower fatality rates on the road.

Another part of what's going on here is rising use of the internet and mobile devices as vehicles of freedom, contact and expression instead of cars among some teens and young adults.

And cars aren't quite as much of a hobby in the 21st century, now riddled with so much digital electronics that shop class has become an anachronism rather than the teenage rite that leads to a lifelong interest.