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back to article Women crap at parking: Official

A team of University of Pennsylvania boffins appears to have confirmed the commonly held notions that while women are absolutely useless at parking cars, they thrash blokes when it comes to multitasking and empathy. The scientists scanned the brains of 949 peoples aged 8-22 - 428 male and 521 female - and discovered "unique sex …

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Anonymous Coward

This proves

Why women continue arguments about things their husbands have forgotten years ago.

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Re: This proves

Why are you posting as AC??

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Re: This proves

A. Because men have worse memory.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This proves

"Re: This proves

A. Because men have worse memory."

Don't support bull cr*p assumptions!

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Re: This proves

he's posting as AC because he forgot his name ;)

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Holmes

It also raises the eternal question...

If a man says something in a forest, and there is no woman around to contradict him, is he still wrong?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This proves

" Why are you posting as AC??"

Because he is scared of his wife.

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Re: This proves

"he's posting as AC because he forgot his name ;)"

Hopefully his wife will have sewn it into his underwear.

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Boffin

..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

A more useful measurement would be to express that as a percentage of the total number of drivers. As it stands, the figure is fairly meaningless, as we have no context.

(Not saying that male drivers are the epitome of safe and careful drivers - but I have also witnessed female drivers doing equally stupid and dangerous things as men do).

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

There are other factors to consider too. For example, expressing it as a percentage per million miles driven or somehow factoring in the risk factors where pedestrian accidents tend to occur ( CBD, near schools, near gatherings of inebriated people, after sporting events or near shops) and what the relative gender balance is in such situations.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Men do crash more. IMO the reason why is simple. Because while, on average, they have superior coordinated motor skills, they enjoy them whilst driving faster and taking more risks. Being less empathetic and prepared to take more risks, they care for high levels of safety less (or at least, keep safety in mind less) and apply the same lower safety standard to others. I would argue, though the lower safety standard doesn't necessarily translate to recklessness (e.g. deliberate disregard for safety, though there will be more reckless male drivers per head of the driving population) I think what men perceive to be the best balance point in the trade off between efficiency and acceptable risk differs between men and women.

Surely this has evolved from the different roles with primeval man tending to be out running after moving things to throw spears at (when not down at primo-pub) while primeval woman would tend to be protecting sprogs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Should also factor in what percentage of the casualties were women!

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Is this figure correct? Are you sure about it. I thought the figures showed that women have more crashes overall, its just that men have more bigger crashes.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

To counter that, a whopping 80 per cent of crashes which involved male drivers were CAUSED by women doing dumb arse things like, ohh, putting fucking make-up on in the car. Or texting. Or numerous other things i see as a car, white van man AND cyclist commited daily by women drivers ...

NB, not saying men are the epitome of safety but when was the last time you saw a bloke putting lippy on whilst hurtling down a dual carrigeway for a mile and a half..

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

@successcase

Nail directly hit on the head. Nothing else to add on the topic

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

@Dazed and Confused.

Absolutely correct. The stats on accidents are often wholly misrepresented. The following article gives the correct message, although it isn't in the best publication ;-)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2012188/Women-drivers-ARE-dangerous-wheel-scientists-discover.html

The reality is that women have far more accidents than men when you allow for distance travelled etc. However, they tend to have smaller accidents, so the total value of the insurance claims is smaller than for men. Basically, women tend towards bumper clashes in car parks, whereas men tend towards leaving the road at high speed and hitting pedestrians or trees etc. Stereotype.....certainly, but actually true.

So, the reality is that women ARE (on average) worse drivers, but men cost more due to the greater level of aggression and the size of the accidents.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

"Is this figure correct? Are you sure about it. I thought the figures showed that women have more crashes overall, its just that men have more bigger crashes."

So size DOES matter?

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Mad Mike,

I don't quite follow your logic. Women drive in such a way that their accidents are less harmful, therefore they're worse drivers? WTF?

Would you apply the same logic to engineering? Systems that fail catastrophically are better than ones that fail gracefully as long as the catastrophic failures happen less often than the graceful failures? An aircraft which only explodes once every hundred flights is better than one which has a problem with the airconditioning every three flights?

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Dazed and Confused,

> Is this figure correct?

No, because of the elipsis between "crashes" and "involved". Read the article for the correct statistic.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

No. Men drive more miles, is all. This is why insurance forms ask for mileage. The average number of crashes per mile driven is almost equal between the sexes overall, but actually slightly higher for women.

All arguments about "men are better at X" or "women are better at Y" are rubbish. The sexes' abilities are exactly equal IMO, but their interests differ. Women could do engineering, they just choose not to. Men could be empathetic homemakers, but they have no interest. It makes them a good team.

The "multitasking" comment is particularly daft. It is an typical piece of manufactured opinion designed for consumption by the unintelligent, using an impressive-sounding word borrowed from computer studies to make it sound vaguely scientific.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes... @Squander Two

I think what he means is that, from experience and what is said in this article, men are more likely to be doing the ‘big drives’ so while a women driver in a year could have a bump on the school run, back into a wall while parking or take out a wing mirror in a car park by not paying attention to her surroundings, her husband is more likely to flip the car at 70mph after clipping someone else.

The husband might be a better driver, but as the amount of mile covered goes up, and the average speed increases, the same mistake made by the wife 3 times only needs to be made once by the husband for a major accident.

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It thought it was almost universal.

Men have 50% more accidents than women, but drive 2.25 times the distance on average.

Before the European union feminists changed the law to get men's pensions, Insurers always used to go by women having 50% more accidents per million miles.

Men used to cost more to insure when young, because their typical accident was a 100mph motorway shunt or losing it on a bend, or taking off on a humpback bridge in the dark and landing in a house.

And while I've not had any of those for 15 years, women's accidents were misjudging corners, distances etc, and scratching paintwork.

And while 80% of them involved male drivers, being hit by a woman would still make me in that statistic even though I wasn't to blame.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

@Squander Two.

I guess it depends on how you look at it. One might say that small bumper clashes in car parks are worse accidents in that they show a much greater level of lack of care. Whereas high speed accidents can result from much smaller (both in magnitude and duration) lapses as the result happens much quicker etc. Is someone who constantly clashes bumpers when performing low speed actions really better than someone who has only one (albeit big accident) whilst on average driving much longer distances at higher speeds?

All insurance companies worry about is their payouts, so lowest payout (i.e. lots of small ones) wins.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Simply saying that men are more dangerous because they are in more accidents is stupid. You need to normalize the stats such as per KM driven or some other appropriate base. Men drive much more KM than women - so they are more likely to be in accidents. But they are not necessarily worse drivers.

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Childcatcher

Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

...expressing it as a percentage per million miles driven or ...

... a percentage of the total drivers on the road? Split out between the gender of passengers as well? The article previously noted that when together with members of the opposite sex men tend to drive much more often than they ride. It would be interesting to find out what the break-out on contributing factors and causes are. How many men would blame their female passengers for their wrecks?

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

>Is this figure correct? Are you sure about it. I thought the figures showed that women have more crashes overall, its just that men have more bigger crashes.

That was the conclusion I read about some years ago, I can't remember the source but I think it was from car insurers. There is no reason why small bumps would be reported to insurers.

If we agree that the difference between a small 'bump' and a 'crash' is that a bump doesn't cause damage that either party cares about, then we need to look at car design. It depends on the design of car bumpers, which, alas, aren't as robust as they used to be, and many are damaged by bumps of less than 5mph ('Which?' magazine drew attention to this a few years back)

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

I have to concur with this report .

If you are near my wife when she's reversing , GET OUT OF THE WAY. She might hit you at the huge speed of about 3 MPH. The amount of bumpers she has re-arranged on our cars is numerous.

If you are near me when I'm going forward , GET OUT OF THE WAY, because I have way too much confidence in my ability, and I'm likely to hit you , at somewhat more than 3 MPH.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

re "when was the last time you saw a bloke putting lippy on whilst hurtling down a dual carrigeway for a mile and a half.."

in my driving career of 26 years, and about 250 -> 300 Thousand miles, I'm yet to see a bloke put on "lippy" whilst driving along. I have however seen a fair few :-

on their mobile phone

shaving with an electric razor

reading a map propped on the steering wheel

looking for something , guessing a cassette or cd etc, instead of looking at the road, and veering wildly.

playing with the CD/Radio/Cassette player and not looking at the road (almost the same as above)

I guess there must be a few cross-dressing men who like to put on their "lippy" too, and no doubt in the next 20 odd years I guess I'll see one.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

"I thought the figures showed that women have more crashes overall, its just that men have more bigger crashes."

I think you've probably nailed it.

If you add up all the little fender benders, parking lot dings and other "crap parking" style crashes then the women probably take the prize.

Crashes that end up in police statistics (ie. involving serious damage, injury or death) probably belongs to the males.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Yup, caught my attention too: "a whopping 80 per cent of crashes that killed or seriously injured pedestrians involved male drivers"

You'd expect The Reg, being such a tech oriented place, to be better at this statistics business, instead of just parroting any old number without thinking about it first, providing context, etc. Oh, well, who am I kidding? Media is media.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Also, as the article itself says, men generally do the driving and do drive more, so of course the percentage is higher, you have to consider the total numbers of both sexes driving for it to make any sense. Without this info it could well just be stating the obvious.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

She never had an accident in her life. But she saw thousands.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

The only accidents I have had in 44 years are bumper clashes in crowded car parks, so on your view that's worse than the people I know who have rolled BMWs, shunted a Saab into another car at 70 in a built up area, and carried straight on at a T-junction, ripping off all 4 wheels on the way into a field.

Miscalculating where your (unseeable) front bumper ends at 2mph isn't too terrible. Miscalculating the safe speed for a bend by 30mph, or doing 70 in a built up area, are hugely risky.

Something tells me you're trying to justify your own behaviour.

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Devil

Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

When a car leaves the road and smashes up a load of stuff everybody knows about it, police, insurers, the poor bloke whose house you just parked in etc.

When someone bumps a car or post in a car park, odds are no one else saw it, if it ends up on stats at all it's going to be because they made a claim for getting a scratch fixed, and men don't generally claim for small stuff, and when they do it's going to be "car damaged while parked' rather than 'i bumped it while parking'.

I really don't understand why people argue women are more dangerous drivers than men, they're crappier drivers sure, but you'd have to be deluded to say they were more dangerous.

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Re: ..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

Mad Mike,

> One might say that small bumper clashes in car parks are worse accidents in that they show a much greater level of lack of care.

Well, I suppose one might, yes, unless one was even slightly concerned about physical harm to human beings.

The criteria you're using appear to be very popular with commenters here, and I just don't get it. We don't drive cars round obstacle courses or racetracks; we drive on public roads with other people. As members of a civilised society, our highest priority when controlling fast-moving tons of metal ought to be to avoid harming those other people, not to win the highest possible score from the imaginary judges in some technical proficiency test.

I think a lot of people here are getting confused between how to assess driving in the real world and how to award points in a driving game.

The work on shared urban spaces by the late Hans Monderman has become more and more influential in town planning. His designs increase the number of minor accidents but decrease the number of injuries. The reason his principles are catching on is that civilised people value humans more highly than cars. There's plenty of sensible debate about the efficacy and appropriateness of his designs, but I've yet to see anyone say they're simply crap because "Think of the poor fenders!"

> All insurance companies worry about is their payouts

And by far the largest payouts, worth sometimes hundreds of times as much as replacing a car, are the medical and legal costs associated with killing or crippling someone.

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Anonymous Coward

Nw for a spanner in the works..

I ask this for no other reason than to be an awkward sod: how does the whole transgender thing fit in this? It's all good and well to confirm a stereotype, but a theory is tested by its edge cases.

And there's nothing more fun than poking at stereotypes (evil grin).

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

Interesting question.

To which I'd add the observations that there are plenty of men who are naturally cooperative and social, and plenty of aggressive target-oriented women : what do their brains show?

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

I'm crap at parking and multitasking. Awesome.

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

This is not a new conclusion, less tech was used in the past but came up with the same conclusions. One interesting point made previously was that male nurses and female engineers displayed opposite results to those of their gender. It would appear that the gender of the body is less relevant than the 'gender' of the brain.

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

A good point, I seem to recall some study which investigated the effect of hormone treatments on spatial reasoning which (hilariously) showed that adding testosterone increased accuracy.

I agree [upvote pending] it would be interesting to see what effect a major change in hormone regimen after puberty has. As you say edge cases are where it gets tested, for instance our understanding of what bits of the brain do what is mostly informed by victims of head trauma.

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

It appears you drew the 'witty and intelligent' card from the skills pile instead. Madam, I salute you.

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

"I ask this for no other reason than to be an awkward sod: how does the whole transgender thing fit in this? It's all good and well to confirm a stereotype, but a theory is tested by its edge cases"

As someone who is transgender, I'd say that that was a perfectly valid and interesting question. In fact the research has been much discussed in support groups I frequent. A lot of us have looked for years for some form of physical evidence that we are in some way more like the gender we identify with rather than the gender we were born into. Rather than being mildy mentally ill as one commentard has suggested ( a comment which, for the record, I didnt find in the least offensive).

In reality, I'm not sure that it matters much. After all, its generally fairly blindingly obvious what the physical differences between men and women are anyway, and cognitive skills tend to be learned at least as much as they're inherent. So, while it would be jolly nice to have a laydeebrain and all that, its not likely to make much difference on a day to day basis.

Fyi - I cant park for toffee. On the other hand, I'm an accomplished engine builder and if you want a blueprinted V8 putting together, I'm your gal .....

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

...Rather than being mildy mentally ill as one commentard has suggested ( a comment which, for the record, I didnt find in the least offensive)...

Mental illness (beyond the grosser forms of brain damage) is at least partly a social construct. We tend to see people on a sliding scale, running from 'eccentric/a little odd' all the way down to 'a complete nutter'.

Looking at things dispassionately, I note that a major feature of humans who are claimed to be perfectly sane is their tendency to believe what they are told by society/authority figures, even if that belief is completely at odds with reality. We have a near-infinite capacity for self-delusion. Charles MacKay documented this in his "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds". Most human beings seem therefore to be quite 'mentally ill' to begin with...

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Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

"In reality, I'm not sure that it matters much. After all, its generally fairly blindingly obvious what the physical differences between men and women are anyway, and cognitive skills tend to be learned at least as much as they're inherent. So, while it would be jolly nice to have a laydeebrain and all that, its not likely to make much difference on a day to day basis."

It's something I often wonder about. If it turns out it is the case, I'll think "yeah, that's nice. But whatevs", whereas if it's not, I may get quite distraught, such is my way of finding negative things much more appealing, apparently.

"Fyi - I cant park for toffee. On the other hand, I'm an accomplished engine builder and if you want a blueprinted V8 putting together, I'm your gal ....."

I sometimes wonder if my formerly accrued skills and interests are perhaps a bit unladylike in some regards, because, y'know, they don't all conform to the correct stereotype; but they've become a part of who I am, and I'm the same person, whichever bunch of hormones I have washing around in me. But I'll always suck at parking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

There have also been studies that suggest that whilst a man and a woman are falling in love, hormonal changes make the man approach more stereotypically female traits, and vice versa.

The only thing that seems clear is that no simple conclusions can be reached!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

Also being transsexual, but also being more of a coward than Trisha (sorry!) so anon...

When I started hormone treatment I was asked if I would take part in a medical study about the impact of hormones on the brain.

I had testosterone blocker for 8 weeks and then went for an MRI scan and cognitive tests

I then stayed on the blocker and started taking hormones

After 16 weeks I had another MRI scan and more cognitive tests

They did this for:

A male control group (with no medication)

A female control group (ditto)

A group of transexual men (before and after testosterone)

And, of course, a group of transsexual women

IIRC there were several hundred people in each group.

The results indicated that there is a high correlation of the structure of the brain matching the gender the person feels, more than the physical gender of the body.

In other words, I may not have a female body, but I do have a female brain. I'm not sure where I stand on the does it matter. It doesn't in day to day life, but it is good that I know the reason, if not the cause, for why I have felt the way I feel my whole life.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

Oh, and forgot to say...

Parking: I'm brilliant, and useless :) I can reverse park with ease most of the time, but hate parallel parking.

I can be empathic, but can also miss a lot

I can multi task (as others here have said multi threading is maybe a better way of putting it) , but really prefer not to because it's easier to forget things, and is less efficient so the total time is longer for all of the tasks.

So... I don't know, I have things from both sides of the research in the article.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nw for a spanner in the works..

@Dodgy Geezer

Could I add that where we see people on the sliding scale also depends on how much money they have. Rich complete nutter = mildly eccentric. I'd quote a few obvious examples from public life, but the post would be deleted before an ambulance-chasing solicitor could read it.

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Multitasking

Certainly my better half can look at Facebook on her phone and ignore everything (questions from yours truly, screaming kids, etc.) at the same time...

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