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Do women have more trouble than men at parallel parking?

@MG McAnick, I’m 5’6". I do rise a comfortable distance above most steering wheels (and dash). Especially with the multi-directionally adjusting seats so many cars have in them these days.

@the same mountainbike: I agree. Your suggestion of aiming at the front of the car behind is helpful, perhaps because you actually have to turn around to look to do it and therefore get the right entry angle almost automatically? Just turning the wheel sharply is a kind of broad and imprecise technique. (Boy, you can’t tell I’m the daughter of an engineer! LOL Analyze and quantify to increase efficiency!)

My daughter, who is 5’8", says she doesn’t have any problem parallel parking, though she has no call to do it very often either.

Did Mythbusters address the male/female parallel parking issue when they matched male driving skills against female driving skills? I don’t remember if that was in the episode…

I forget where I saw it, but there was a recent study that said men tend to park better and quicker than most women (both for parallel parking and parking and in lined spaces in parking lots), but women are safer drivers, and women are less likely than men to drive in a dangerous manner.

They’ve actually done scientific studies that show women have a harder time parallel parking than men. The studies were done to compare which sex had better spacial relations.

The researchers used an equal number of men and women to parallel park a car they had never driven before. The men took under a minute and bumped the curb far less, while women took well over a minute, sometimes two or more, and hit the curb more frequently. This isn’t to say that there weren’t bad men parallel parkers, or that some women didn’t have equally good spacial relations. I’m just guessing they didn’t use Bentley’s to be the book-ended cars creating the space, though that would serve as good inspiration to not hit anything!

The scientists that conducted the tests believe it was an evolutionary thing because men had to know how far away the game they were hunting was and what speed it was going so they knew how and where to throw the spear to get dinner. This is also why Dad gets to pack car when heading out on vacation.

They've actually done scientific studies that show women have a harder time parallel parking than men. The studies were done to compare which sex had better spacial relations.

Those kind of tests are not only stupid…but usually completely inaccurate. I don’t give credence to any of those tests. I’ll bet it was funded by a group of self-conscious men who find it disturbing that a woman can drive better then they do.

Wow, Mike, that’s a whole lotta judgement for not having even seen the studies mentioned above.

Actually, I bet most of these studies were conducted by insurance companies. It’s in their interest to study the issues so they know how to adjust rates based on gender. (Have you noticed insurance rates for women tend to be cheaper than men’s rates of the same age?) Also consider that in some middle east countries it’s still illegal for women to drive. These studies can help those women in their fight for equal rights.

I think if you’re going to cry “BIGOTRY!” you should save your breath for an instance where the issue hasn’t been impartially examined. Women pay lower insurance rates than men, so on this issue, I think women are doing just fine on their own, at least here in the USA.

It's in their interest to study the issues so they know how to adjust rates based on gender.

I’ve worked in a few industries in the almost 40 years as a software engineer. For about 10 of them I worked in the insurance industry. There’s a possibility those tests were conducted by the insurance industry. But I still don’t like tests that make broad statements like that. I’ve seen those type of studies from the 30’s and 40’s saying how hispanic and blacks didn’t have the mental capacity to be fighter pilots. If I hand picked the people in the study…I could easily show (through the study) that can’t make good fighter pilots. OBVIOUSLY that’s a load of crap.

I think you’ll find good drivers in men and women.