Sunday, 12 August 2007

Women Drivers

I've just been reading blog posting on Scale and Proportion - where AMKT mentioned spatial awareness and the male v female driver competition " the rare occasions they are better at something than we are ............. ..... women having no spatial awareness." I take issue with this. I don't think men are better drivers than women. I would challenge a male any day. They may be more aggressive, more impatient and like to drive faster. They often overtake despite my driving up to the speed limit. But we all end up at the traffic lights or the next roundabout together. And I with my slower more consistent, considerate pace cruise up to the junction just as the gap in the traffic is clear and am able to sail on majestically while the male road hog is still busy engaging the right gear to shoot across the junction very FAST.

I can and do park perfectly - right in the middle of the white lines in car parks - facing forward ready to leave. Able to drive off immediately the engine has fired. When reversing I have to use both wing mirrors only as I have a stiff inflexible neck/back so am unable to twist around in that macho male way with my arm gripping the passenger seat head restraint while reversing. In fact I have been congratulated on my precision at parking. Sometimes by a male driver - so they can't all be boorish road hogs I admit. When driving down roads with cars parked on either side other drivers sit and wait for me to manoeuvre around them - so obviously they don't trust their spacial awareness. 9 times out of 10 they are male drivers sitting there hugging the left kerb as tightly as possible with a space large enoughto be able to drive a bus through.

As I said I have stiff neck and back. This probably from the number of accidents I have endured at the hands of male drivers. Each time I've been blame free. Honestly. Twice by lorry drivers. Three times I've been hit from behind. The most recent (18 months ago) while I was stationary waiting for a gap in the oncoming traffic before I could turn right off the road. The conditions were wet and slippery. The driver told me "I'm a professional driver" and "have you seen the condition of the roads today?" - well yes I have - but I stopped in time and although I had to sit there waiting for a gap before I could move for several minutes on a clear stretch of road, he assumed he could stop in time but he couldn't and didn't. So his spatial awareness was well and truly up the creek. Along with his judgement on a suitable speed according to the conditions of the wet, greasy road. I wished I'd reported him for driving without due care and attention. A witness wanted to call the police. But although shaken I felt OK at the time so didn't think it necessary. I just hope he learnt his lesson. I still have stiff neck and shoulders from the whiplash after this latest event. My car was off the road for 3 months. I had to screw up my courage to do the journey in April. I crawl along behind lorries for mile after mile as I now longer trust them behind me.

Before that accident I'd been shunted from the rear twice on separate occasions. At roundabouts. Neither man could stop in time. I didn't hit the fool in front [MALE] who suddenly stopped - so why couldn't they behind me?! They were obviously driving far too close to me for either their ability to react or their car's brakes to cope. I'm thinking of getting a 4x4 with BIG wheels and bull bars in future.

Male drivers often take up the point that the car manufacturer's miles per gallon or miles per litre - do not reflect real driving conditions. I expect the figures are taken after a female test driver has put the car through it's paces. So I take the figures as gospel.

The other day we had to stop suddenly at a mini roundabout. Full of paranoia and guilt I looked in my rear view mirror. I'm not sure who tooted who - or why. The young man in front assumed it was me and shot across the white painted island.He started to wave his fist at me out his window. There was no way I could respond. He carried on gesticulating wildly. At one point practically hanging out of the driver's window as he went around the next roundabout giving me lovely two fingered gestures that had nothing to do with Victory. It made me giggle which enraged him even more. When we came to a parting of our way I blew him a kiss. I don't think he appreciated it. If he carries on like that he'll have aheart attack before he's 30.


Flowerpot said...

I have to admit my spatial awareness is crap. And I am bowled over to meet someone who can reverse with wing mirrors - well done you!

Mopsa said...

You tell 'em!

The thinker said...

I know - it's clever isn't it!

Around My Kitchen Table said...

Ha, ha! My spatial awareness and sense of direction are appalling. I like to think I make up for this lack in other ways - hyper intelligence, phenomenal problem-solving skills, modesty.

Eats Wombats said...

I am a man who would happily see ONLY women drivers. And I let my wife driver wherever possible. She's a far better driver than I am (she taught me to drive). Cars are getting from A to B.

She also parks better than I do.

Last year I knocked off a front bumper in a very embarrassing accident at 2mph or less. When I explained how I'd avoided running over the one eyed kitten--really I was not making it up--she collapsed and cried with laughter.

But.. I've never made an insurance claim. I can deal with a little wounded dignity.

The thinker said...

Hello AMKT - I agree - very modest! Like what I am.
Hello Wombat - hope you don't mind the diminutive - you sound like a rare real man. nice to meet you.