“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Mysteries of the Universe: #5744E3W
Monday, March 4, 2013

As a writer of novels that often have gender-bender characters I am always on the lookout for new observations about male and female behavior. I've noticed, for example, this scenario time and again:

My personal research reveals the drivers who back into a parking spot are generally men -- and frequently these vehicles are trucks.
 Is it because men are more often philanderers, and parking this way allows a quick escape when caught in the act?

Does it have something to do with every young boy's dream (at some point in his life) to be a fireman?

Is it a way to show off one's prowess at parking?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I learned at a girlscout camp I worked at to always back in, just in case of a need for evacuations.

March 4, 2013 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Levi Montgomery said...

It has nothing to with speed or quickness -- it's a safety issue. Don't think of it as backing in or pulling in, think of it as backing in or backing out. You're going to have to do one or the other. The ones that make me laugh are the ones who say "I never back in, because I hate backing up." Well, then, why are you making yourself back out, which is far worse than backing in?

1) Backing in is easier and safer than pulling in, due to better visibility of the rear corners of your vehicle as opposed to the front corners. (Assuming your mirrors are set properly.)

2) Pulling out is easier and safer than backing out, due to better visibility of cross-traffic.

I've found that whether a person chooses to back in or to back out relates more to the person's close-quarters driving skill, rather than to gender. Although there is some indication that men may be generally better at close-quarters driving while women may be generally better at on-road driving, such differences (if they exist at all) barely rise above the statistical margins of error.

And yes, when driving a truck or van or something else with poor visibility around the front end, and with poor visibility of the cross traffic behind you when you back out, it is even more important to back in, rather than to back out. Best, of course, is a pull-through job, where you don't back up at all.

March 5, 2013 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Levi: A great, thoughtful, well-written explanation. Thank you!

March 5, 2013 at 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Around these parts, where half the population drives pickups, they park in backwards to keep folks from walking by and taking things out of the bed of their trucks. Plus, it's easier to leave the space.

March 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only back in if I'm unloading stuff. Richard the same way. Backing into a parking place takes longer than pulling in, and usually irritates other people trying to park. But backing OUT, they'll wait for because they want your parking place.

March 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM  

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