By The Numbers: Women Are Worse At Parking Than Men

September 27, 2011
We’re not big on perpetuating stereotypes, and we’d dare anyone to tell Michele Mouton, Sabine Schmitz or Simona de Silvestro that women are less capable than men behind the wheel. Still, sometimes studies produce hard data, and the latest numbers from Britain seem to suggest one thing: women have a more difficult time parking than men.

Nearly a third of women who failed their U.K. driving test in 2010 missed because of errors made parallel parking. The overall failure rate for women in the U.K. is higher, too: while 50.7 percent of men taking the driving test pass, only 44.1 percent of women taking the same test pass.

It’s not just the British reporting the link between women and parking, either. Researchers at Germany’s Ruhr University Bochum had 65 volunteers park an Audi worth an estimated $36,000. On average, it took women drivers some 20 seconds longer to accomplish the task than it did their male counterparts.

Blame it on bravado, which also costs men on the British driving exam. The Daily Mail reports that some 40,000 men failed the exam for “moving off too fast,” while another 30,500 failed for “jumping the lights.” Maybe that’s the reason why women drivers enjoy cheaper car insurance, even in Britain.

Do the studies really prove anything? Probably not, which means this debate is sure to continue.

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