Are males better than females at parking?
There is nothing better than a good debate about the ability of male drivers compared to females. Almost everybody has an opinion on this and one mayor in Black Forest town of Triberg, in Germany, has gone one step further in the debate and has designated car parking spaces in his town specifically for males and females.
Mayor Gallus Strobel has said that men are better at parking than women and located the male spaces close to concrete pillars where they can only be reversed into. The spaces for women are wider and well lit.
Here at RED, we would never agree or disagree with this because we believe that it is down to a driver’s ability, not their gender. However, recently we looked into what the top five most common mistakes were in driving tests by men and women and, according the Department for Transport, reverse parking has come out as the fourth most common fault made by females during their tests. Male driver’s most frequent fault is observation at junctions.
Both parties have their weaknesses and if a driver isn’t confident in a particular manoeuvre, they can simply book in a refresher session and get their confidence back.
Whether you are a male or female, here are some top tips to improve your parking skills:
- You’ll nearly always find it best to reverse into a parking bay as the car is more manoeuvrable in this gear. If you have to drive forwards into the bay, be extra careful when reversing out because it is often difficult to see if it is safe.
- Always drive slowly as this helps adjust steering inaccuracies before they become a problem.
- Remove your seat belt (this is legal when carrying out a manoeuvre involving reverse gear) and adjust your seating position to get the best view while still being able to use the controls properly. Use all the views possible – all-round and mainly rear window. Frequently check the door mirrors to judge the position of your car in relation to the lines and parked cars. Before starting to reverse, if you have electrically adjustable mirrors, set them a little lower than for normal driving so you can see the side of your car and the bay markings, but don’t forget to set them back again.
- Don’t make it more difficult than it needs to be. When there is enough space and it is safe, lessen the angle. If the space is on your left, as you drive past slowly, steer slightly to the right so you can see the gap better in your mirrors and have less steering to do in reverse. If there’s enough space, you can even turn to the right enough not to have to steer at all in reverse but back straight into the bay.
- If you are not sure it is safe to reverse, get someone to guide you.