Swedes ‘dependent’ on their cars: study

Swedes 'dependent' on their cars: study
50 percent of Swedes drive their cars every day, according to a survey conducted by auto group BIL Sweden and Sweden's National Automotive Association (Motorbranschens Riksförbund - MRF) published on Friday.

More than half of Swedes consider themselves “completely or fairly dependent” on their car, according to the study.

“The survey confirms our image that cars solve many people’s daily struggle for time, particularly for families with children,” Jessica Alenius, deputy CEO of BIL Sweden, said in a statement.

However, this goes against a report published in 2010 by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturskyddsföreningen), which claimed that half of all car trips in Sweden are shorter than five kilometers.

“In cities the quick trips are even more frequent. And even shorter,” wrote the agency.

Short car journeys of this sort are especially targeted as “unnecessary” in the Swedish Road Administration’s (Vägverket) report “Sustainable Travel” (Hållbart resande), which points out that these are the most easily replaced by alternative modes of travel: walking, cycling, car-pooling or using public transport.

The survey conducted by BIL Sweden also showed that Swedish women’s car ownership is on the rise.

“Public debate generally makes it sound as if men drive more, while women use more public transport, which is incorrect. Today, cars are the number one form of transport for both women and men,” said Alenius.

Although more women may be purchasing cars than previously, other statistics show that the vast majority of all car trips in Sweden continue to be made by men.

A recent study in Malmö showed that if men began using the same means of transport as women for trips of five kilometers or less, car journeys would decrease by 19 percent, bus trips increase by 26 percent, and trips made on foot increase by 12 percent.

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