Do you believe that women are poor at parking? We have always believed that even though we accept that women may be safer driving, they are not as good as the male drivers when it comes to parking a vehicle!
A new study might however challenge these beliefs! I have come across an article by Murray Wardrop in the Telegraph titled “Women are better at parking than men, study suggests”. On reading the title I immediately questions what the criteria might be for being “better”. There are often different studies coming to different conclusions and we should always hesitate before claiming the findings of one study as being the ultimate and only truth.
It is however also important to share some of these findings.
Study on Parking Behaviour
This study was undertaken by way of covert surveillance of car parks across Britain, and I would like to quote from these findings:
“Covert surveillance of car parks across Britain has shown that while women may take longer to park, they are more likely to leave their vehicles in the middle of a bay.
The study is one of the most comprehensive ever conducted on gender driving differences, and took into account seven key components of parking styles.
Women were also found to be better at finding spaces, more accurate in lining themselves up before starting each manoeuvre, and more likely to adopt instructors’ preferred method of reversing into bays.
Men were shown to be more skilled at driving forwards into spaces and more confident overall, with fewer opting to reposition their car once in a bay.
But once all the elements were taken into account, women were ranked first with a total score of 13.4 out of 20, compared to 12.3 points achieved by men.
Neil Beeson, a professional driving instructor who devised the experiment, described the results as “surprising”.
Mr Beeson, who has recently appeared on the ITV show Last Chance Driving School, said: “In my experience men have always been the best learners and usually performed better in lessons.
“However, it’s possible that women have retained the information better. The results also appear to dispel the myth that men have better spatial awareness than women.
“It shows that us men need to give our partners more respect when it comes to parking. The facts don’t lie.”
The study was produced by the car park firm NCP, which employed a team of researchers to observe 2,500 drivers across its 700 car parks in Britain over a one-month period.
Each aspect of a person’s parking was marked and added to a final tally to produce a “parking coefficient” for the two sexes.
The first category analysed people’s ability to find spaces. Researchers found that impatience caused many men to drive too quickly around car parks, meaning they missed free bays. Meanwhile, women’s slower approach meant they were better able to notice spaces, or spot when other drivers were about to leave.
More than three quarters of women were found to excel in their so-called “pre-parking pose”, setting themselves up to pull into a space, compared to just over half of men observed.
Thirty-nine per cent of female drivers cleanly executed reversing into spaces, compared to only 28 per cent of men.
Men were much quicker at parking, taking 16 seconds on average against the 21 seconds women needed to complete the manoeuvre.
However, the extra time paid off leaving 52 per cent of women parked in the middle of each bay, compared to 25 per cent of men. This category proved particularly punishing for the men’s rating as it was the most heavily weighted in the coefficient.”
Not everyone agrees with the criteria used to determine what can be regarded as “better parking”. This does however support the reasoning behind cheaper car insurance for women. Even though they may take longer, they are taking more caution with their vehicles and this will lead to fewer accident and insurance clams!