Snow plowing patterns seem an unlikely subject of a gender study conducted in a small town in Sweden. After all, the town’s approach appeared logical and neutral enough on the surface: plow major roads first, particularly those leading into and out of town, followed by smaller local streets.
As researchers dove into the subject, however, they discovered that male and female driving patterns were markedly different. While men mainly commuted to and from work, women drove all over to run errands and to take care of elderly family members. They also walked more, trudging across often-unplowed intersections, sometimes with kids in tow.
In Sweden, the city council looked at the findings and reversed their approach, plowing side roads and sidewalks first. It had a huge impact, reducing the people admitted to emergency centers, women in particular, and had a corresponding economic impact from lower healthcare costs. Driving through a few inches, as it turned out, was less dangerous than walking through the snow, particularly if one was pushing something like a baby carriage as well.
Source: Invisible Women – 99% Invisible