Women Don’t Suck At Parking — In Fact, We’re Kinda Good At It

I’m sure many women were experiencing road rage last week when word broke out that a German mayor designated various parking spots for only men, and others for only women. Mayor Gallus Strobel of Triberg, Germany presented a new 220-spot parking lot, with more difficult spots designated for males, because, “men are, as a rule, a little better at such challenges,” he said. Riiiiight.

Strobel’s comment is not only sexist, it’s also not completely true: a study conducted by National Car Parks, the U.K.’s largest parking lot operator, tested 2,500 men and women’s “parking coefficients” by scoring their performance on seven parking behaviors. And guess what, haters? We’re actually pretty good at it.

The study shows that women had a higher average score of 13.4 out of 20, while men scored only 12.3. One particular parking move, reversing into a spot, was better performed by women. While the women took an average of 21 seconds to park — five seconds longer than men — 11 percent more women chose the more difficult, and sometimes dreaded, reverse-park strategy over the easier motion of pulling forward into a spot. Although the women took longer to park the car, it showed them to be more focused on the task of parking: women centered their cars 53 percent of the time, while men lazily made it only 25 percent of the time.

But women are not grand supreme masters of the road: other research has shown that men are better at parking a distance away from neighboring cars and “men do have slightly superior spatial cognition skills.”

With so much emphasis on the stereotype that “women are bad drivers,” it’s no wonder that they may not perform as well as men on the road. Although women may have less confidence on the road than men do, they are much less likely to be responsible for a car accident, with male drivers reportedly responsible for around 80 percent of all fatal and serious car accidents. So stop giving us a hard time and get it together, dudes! [Slate]

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