The History of Women on the Road


Nowadays, the road ways are full of confident female drivers. However, this is a relatively recent development in societies around the world. The history of women behind the wheel is interesting and unique, and worth sharing…so, here it is in a few short bullet points.

1902- In 1902, Mary Anderson invented the windshield wiper.

1909- Alice Ramsey, 22 years old, became the first woman to drive across America. She also founded the “Women’s Motoring Club” in the U.S.

1909- The Women’s Motoring Club organized and set into motion the first all-women auto race, with the contestants travelling from New York to Pennsylvania and back.

1912– The biggest deterrent for woman drivers was created. Charles Kettering made the crank start, deterring many women from getting behind the wheel.

1916– Girl Scouts in America created the “Automobiling Badge” for girls scouts who demonstrated skills with automobiles, mechanics, and first-aid.

1922– Phoenix Mill was opened by Henry Ford. Here, he employed single women and widows, promising to pay them the same wages as men so that they could dress well and afford to get married.

1943- Helene Rother became the first woman to ever work in the automotive design industry when she was hired at General Motors.

1954- The first car that was targeted towards women was created by Nash. It was called the Metropolitan and was supposed to be used for commuting and shopping.

1955- The pink, two-door coupe called the La Femme was created by Dodge for women. It featured a calfskin purse and was complete with coordinating accessories such as face powder, lipstick case, comb, cigarette case and lighter, and a change purse.

1964- The Mustang was released and initially marketed towards women, before gaining the reputation of a “muscle car” for men.

1995- The term “soccer mom” came about from the association of women and large SUV’s that were great for carrying children. The term came from Susan B. Casey, a runner up for Denver city council.

Over the last 100 years or so women have played a significant part in driver safety, and through companies offering driving lessons to help people become a safe driver, and not just to pass the driving test, we are experiencing safer roads.

On a crackdown with driver safety, the Uk government have started to look into graduated licences. Click here
Currently, one in four young drivers are involved in an accident within two years of passing their tests, with 400 deaths or serious injuries annually involving young drivers.

A graduated driving licence designed for young drivers is already in place in various countries, with restrictions on the number of passengers carried, driving at night and being accompanied by a more experienced driver among the conditions in certain countries. Also at county level this is the case, people taking driving lessons in Mansfield have witnessed the same.

Drivers’ group IAM Roadsmart has previously released a series of suggestions for making young drivers safer, including incorporating theory and hazard perception into the national curriculum, including high-speed roads on driving test routes, a lower drink/drive alcohol threshold and a 12-month minimum learning period.