New Holiday Shopping Warning: Beware of Men in Parking Lots

Drivers Fill Out An Accident Report
All those jokes about women drivers need an overhaul. At least when it comes to parking, men are the true terrors of the lot. Chances are that if someone hits someone or something or blocks a lane, waiting for someone to eventually pull out, the culprit will be a guy.

A survey of 2,000 drivers ages 25 and older found that, contrary to many stereotypes, men are the real danger in parking lots. About 37 percent of men reported they had hit another car, vs. 33 percent of women. Nineteen percent of men said they had hit a pole, and 12 percent a shopping cart, vs. 11 percent and 5 percent respectively for women. Eight percent of men (4 percent of women) had hit a cart corral, while 8 percent of men reported hitting a pedestrian. Only 1 percent of women had.

Another big difference: Who gets hit in those incidents. 59 percent of women said they had been hit, while only 45 percent of men had.

Men generally admitted to being more aggressive in confrontations over parking in crowded lots: 27 percent had used a hand gesture while driving away; only 20 percent of women had. When it came to saying something to the other person, 20 percent of men did, but only 12 percent of women. And 8 percent of men said they had touched the other person, compared to only 2 percent of women. Similarly, 5 percent of men, but only 1 percent of women, had touched the other car. Men outnumbered women 4 percent to 2 percent in calling security or the police.

Get That Last Space

One area in which men and women didn't differ significantly was in the tactics they used to acquire a parking space:
  • 38 percent circled a lot at least twice, a technique called "vulture parking".
  • 24 percent would follow people with bags and wait for them to pack their car and leave.
  • 3 percent cut someone off for a spot.
  • 3 percent straddled their cars on top of snow banks to fit into spaces others had passed on.
Given that Black Friday isn't the best time for discounts, maybe it would be wiser to pass on the whole parking lot sardine experience the day after Thanksgiving.
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