Female and Male Driving Behaviour on Swedish Urban Roads and Streets

Female and Male Driving Behaviour on Swedish Urban Roads and Streets


K F M Aronsson, K L Bang, Royal Institute of Technology, SE


The study aimed to establish differences in male and female driver behaviour. Conclusion of the field study was that Swedish men and women differed marginally in their speed and headway driving behaviour. Simulator results proved diversity.


Knowledge of male and female driver behaviour is essential when addressing gender issues in the planning and design of highways and streets. The objective of the study was to establish if there are significant differences in driver behaviour in male and female drivers for a variety of Swedish urban street designs, environments and traffic condition. The comparative analysis was based on additional data extraction from an existing dataset. Behaviour data of male and female drivers was analysed through descrip-tive statistics, multiple regression and comparison of speed profiles.

The field study detected no significant difference between the free-flow speed of men and women on average. For a number of studied sites there was an indication of slightly higher female free flow speeds. Men and women had the same probability to be platoon leaders on arterials and urban streets. On suburban streets there was an in-dication that the likelihood for men to lead a platoon was slightly higher, although the data supporting this was very limited. On average male and female platoon leaders maintained the same speed (i.e. free flow speed). On average male and female drivers maintained the same time headway to the nearest platoon vehicle in front. On one in-vestigated suburban street women drivers kept 0.2 seconds greater headway than male drivers (significant on 90 % level).

In the driving simulator study, performed for urban street conditions, men had signifi-cantly higher free flow speed than women (2 km/h). For the event ?passing an occu-pied bus stop? men drove and average of 4 km/h faster than women. No difference in behaviour between men and women was recorded for the event of ?arriving at a crosswalk with approaching pedestrians ?.

The conclusion of the field study was that Swedish male and female drivers differed only marginally in their speed and headway driving behaviour. The simulator study, which enabled ?controlled experiments? for different traffic events, indicated some differences for specific traffic situations which should be further explored.


Association for European Transport