Men drivers!

Is this another of those “male privilege” things you only realize you had when its gone?

I shan’t go into intense detail, since it involves driving and road position and similarly abstruse subjects. Suffice it to say that because of the geometry of the front of the house and the fact that neighbours tend to park around us in various sight-obscuring positions, the safest way to be parked, when it comes to pulling back on to the road, is on our hard standing area, nose out.

However, to achieve that means I must first drive down the road toward our house: indicate right as I pass it; drive a couple of yards past; and then reverse the first half of a three-point turn back on to the drive. Got that?

It means reversing off the main road on to our drive.

It also means, for all of about twenty seconds, blocking the road fore and aft. No great shakes, since the road narrows in places anyway, is not a main road, and cars are used to having to slow or pause to let others thru.

Anyway, I’ve done this for years. It strikes me that its probably the book way to do it. And if I do all of the above – pause, indicate, pull past house, reverse (in that order) – then it should be pretty clear to all and sundry what I’m about.

And over the years, I’ve encountered the occasional impatient bugger, who either pulls in too close as I start to reverse, making the reverse either difficult or impossible (and in either case, meaning the guy behind is delayed for longer than if he’d just stayed back about ten yards), or the even ruder ones, who pull past as I’m reversing. Very stupid. If they misjudge, I’ll rake their wing with mine, which would be expensive for both of us.

However, the number of impatient buggers has been few and far between. Until recently. The number pulling in close has increased. I have lost count of those who now pull past as I’m manoeuvring – even mounting the pavement to do so.

Last night, returning home with andrea in the passenger seat, one white van man drew n close, so slowing the process. Started edging past whilst I was till moving. The pulled in to shake his fist and shout at me, issuing what looked like a strong of profanities in the process. (We couldn’t hear: if you’re going to issue profanity strings, it does help if you wind down your window).

So. Question. Has my driving taken a turn for the worse? Has everyone else’s? Or is it just ever so possible that blokes on the road, whilst they will tolerate exotic driving manoeuvres from other blokes, can’t stand it when women do them.

And does that mean that, the closer I get to passing, the ruder men will be to me on the road.

Oh joy! I just can’t wait.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Lucy Melford said,

    No, white van men are rude to all. I had trouble with one in Worthing three years back, when still (just about) pre-transition. And – though I sez it myself – I don’t think my driving has got worse since going on hormones and renouncing ‘manhood’. If anything, it’s got better, as it’s ‘in character’ to drive with proper attention to the task and road conditions. It’s men who mainly cause accidents, because they have no patience and are aggressive.


  2. 3

    Sabine said,

    It’s probably nothing to do with you *g* White vans are usually commercial cars so the driver may have been under time pressure, apart from behaving like a prick with no breeding.

    However hormones do affect driving, in particular spatial reasoning. I remember reading a study that higher Testosterone levels improve it even in the short run and this is why menstruating woman have an easier time parking during their time.

    I agree with Lucy that men are more aggressive drivers and less prone to defensive driving and looking ahead. Better parkers, though. I’ve seen a lorry driver with trailer park backwards of the road into a perpendicular driveway barely wider then his vehicle. I wish I could do that.

  3. 4

    Stace said,

    I would say that driver standards have nose dived in the UK over the last 12 years. When I left the country I used to love coming back to the UK for the road manners, and the chance to have distance between cars etc (something that no one in Holland does – leave a safe gap and someone will try to undertake you to fill it!)

    But over the last 2 or three years both my wife and I have noticed that driving in the UK has become more stressful with more people trying to crowd you out and block you in both on the motorways and when driving around town.

    As I don’t drive as Stace in the UK yet I don’t think that it’s loss of male privalage (but of course I could be wrong!)


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