Americans’ Gender Gap Widens – Depending on Who’s in the Driver’s Seat

REDMOND, Wash., June 30, 1999 — Finally there’s proof that men would tough it out rather than ask for directions. Women, on the other hand, would unashamedly hightail it to the nearest gas station. According to a recent survey* on driving habits commissioned by Microsoft® Expedia® Streets & Trips 2000 mapping and trip planning software, 40 percent of women immediately stop and ask for directions when lost vs. only 28 percent of men.

Drawing the Gender Lines

Who has the better sense of direction? Half the people polled said men, almost one-third said women, and 16 percent gave gender neutral replies. However, it all depends on who’s in the driver’s seat: Women are far more likely than men to say women have a better sense of direction (41 percent vs. 19 percent), while men are more likely to give themselves the nod (59 percent vs. 41 percent). Who’s right? Fifty percent of women experience brief delays of less than 30 minutes, while men are more likely to be delayed 30 minutes to an hour (41 percent). When it comes to getting lost, however, both sexes seem to agree: Almost half said the primary reason is lack of attention to road signs or highway information, while 28 percent cited inaccurate directions as the reason.

Destination Unknown

With millions of people hitting the road every year in the United States, knowing the route to a destination to avoid getting lost is only half the battle. Whether it’s in order to travel along the most scenic ocean route, find mouthwatering seafood at a tucked-away restaurant or locate a quiet picnic spot, knowing the sites and available activities ahead of time is something 67 percent of people polled would like to know to plan a better itinerary.

Technology Drives a Solution

When it comes to planning an itinerary, Expedia Streets & Trips 2000 uses cutting-edge technology to locate places and points of interest along a driving route by searching a comprehensive travel planning guide for North America. Now, the location of rest areas, ATM machines and country getaways along the way during a journey can be found with just a few mouse clicks.

“A person can live in a city all their life and still get lost,”
said Michael Graff, product unit manager for Microsoft geography products.
“This survey shows that there is a real need for software that can help people plan a trip to the other side of town or the other side of the country. With Streets & Trips 2000, drivers can calculate door-to-door driving directions throughout the United States, find and map street addresses, and include all the places and points of interest they want from a comprehensive travel guide.”

Drivers can say goodbye to unexpected road delays; 65 percent of those surveyed were lost or delayed in the past year because of unexpected construction, detours or traffic delays. Expedia Streets & Trips 2000 includes information from the Department of Transportation regarding construction projects nationwide, which is automatically updated through the World Wide Web via an easy download feature. And with more than 10,000 Web links, Streets & Trips 2000 provides in-depth information on points of interest and 24-hour access to local highlights and events, traffic, weather updates and other relevant travel information.

So when the family sets out to visit Aunt Thelma at her new summer cottage, some proper planning, mapping and routing on Expedia Streets & Trips 2000 will help make summer a sizzler.

Microsoft Expedia Streets & Trips 2000 is available now for an estimated retail price of $44.95 (U.S.) or $64.95 (CDN) with a $20 (U.S.) or $30 (CDN) rebate. The rebate offer expires March 31, 2000. The offer is valid in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada only.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

*Source: CARAVAN® Opinion Research Corp. International, May 27-30, 1999. The survey was conducted to 1,010 people, with a confidence level of +/- 3 percent (or 95 percent).

Microsoft and Expedia are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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