Women drive cars and use mass transit. Caregivers are mostly women. Women walk and ride bikes, with and without kids. Yet in all scenarios the industry favors and designs without women in mind. Crash test dummies are male. The automotive industry is designing and selling trucks and huge SUVs rather than cars, which appeal to mostly to men. Vehicles are designed for adults only, without childseats (although the tech exists to integrate childseats into design), so they must be purchased and installed, then lugged around between vehicles, and when traveling on planes. Buses don’t accommodate strollers. Cities lack protected bike infrastructure. We live in a car culture, but cities like Asbury Park are addressing this issue. With incremental changes many US cities, and our city are becoming more female, and family friendly – designing a city for women, and everyone, ages “8 to 80”.
How Our Transport System is Biased Against Women
Hyper-macho dangerous trucks
Young men cause a hugely disproportionate share of traffic fatalities; the combination of testosterone, youth and big motors can be deadly. Young men are involved in fatal crashes at 2.2 times the rate of young women — even though both are at elevated risk compared to older drivers. Young men do pay much higher insurance premiums to reflect this. On the other hand, in our culture, we’ve done little to rein in some of the more dangerous aspects of macho road culture. Instead, it is mostly celebrated in the media in games, songs and, of course, movie franchises like Fast and Furious.
Lifted pickup trucks with bull bars are a good example. These dangerous modifications in many states go completely unregulated. Meanwhile, Europe has banned bull bars, citing compelling evidence they kill people, especially children. The notion that other people’s safety can be subordinated to the mostly male obsession with big cars reflects, in part, the privileged position men hold socially and politically.