Sunday, 11 May 2014

driving

Cars on the shelf at the Museum of Transport (a good
visit, and free too, although don't forget to pay for
parking)
Since cars were invented, women have been driving, but there has always been a view that women mainly use their cars for short hops around town, to the shops, to school, to friends, etc.  While men use their cars to go longer distances, and to go to work.  It's not as simple as this of course, but there is some truth in it.

There has also always been a view that men are better drivers than women, despite no evidence that this is the case. Indeed, you could get the impression from insurance companies that men have more accidents than women.  You could argue that men drive more road miles than women so would be likely to have more accidents, which is plausible.  But it's also worth bearing in mind that most accidents are small accidents which happen in smaller roads.  The roads that more women are driving.  If we look at the stats in detail we find that women have more accidents, but men have more serious accidents, and indeed more fatal accidents.  It all works out that there's not a lot in it.

However, when a man and a woman travel together, it tends to be the man who drives (although in some cases it is the woman - certainly my Grandad made no use of his driving license to my knowledge).  Why is this?  Well I know that for me, I cannot stand driving while someone is advising me on what to do.  If you tell me what gear I should be in, that there is a car coming the other way etc. you will either be walking, or driving yourself.  Similarly, if I cook you dinner and you advise me on how to make it better, you can cook it yourself next time.  So I sit in the passenger seat and keep the children entertained, and attempt to keep my mouth shut about driving I'm not keen on.  I am not great about ignoring speeding, and I do occasionally grumble about 'slalom driving', but I have never advised anyone on what gear they might want to use (apart from my son, but he was asking, and he is 8).  This works out best for us, and I know I'm not alone in preferring to be driven than advised.


Citroen C8.  It has a place to put your bag.  And
sliding doors too.  Sadly discontinued.  Pic from here
We have two cars.  One little one which my husband drives to work, and a big people carrier which I use to carry people around in (and bikes and shopping and buggies etc).  We bought a new people carrier a couple of years ago, and looked at lots of different models.  It seems clear to me that people carriers should be designed primarily for women, who, after all, form the majority of people who drive them.  Yet most of them have a small compartment in the front, by the steering wheel, for a wallet.  Many have a small fridge in the front too (for a drink or two - you cannot fit a 6 pack of fruit shoots in there), but none that I have seen (apart from the Citroen C8 which is now discontinued), had a space for a handbag.  What is that about?  Car sales people advised me that most people put their bag in the passenger footwell.  Why would I want my bag in the passenger footwell?  I want my bag somewhere where I can get into it easily, just as men would want their wallet to hand, in the convenient wallet compartment.  Why can't they ditch the annoyingly large but surprisingly uncapacious fridges and provide space for a bag?  I wish they hadn't discontinued the C8.  It had sliding doors for the kids doors too, which would have saved us money at Tebay services recently (for more on which, see this post).

We got a Ford Galaxy.  Just because a friend had one available while we were looking.  The Galaxy has been fine, although the doors are difficult for the children.  It's great the the extra seats in the back just fold down, but the boot space is maddening as it slopes down to the boot door, causing your shopping to roll out onto the floor when you open the boot.  

Neither of us has crashed it yet.  I drive it most of the time (short distances), but Kenny usually drives if he's in the car.  Apparently it gets good safety ratings, and the other thing that bothers me is reliability.  It is reliable, so far.  It is also pretty boring.

What's your car?  Is it good?  And does it have somewhere to put your bag?

This post was inspired by a fabulous Stuff Mom Never Told you Podcast: titled Men & Cars (but talking about women and cars).  You'll find it here.

The post is one of 50 you'll find in my list of 50 things to blog about.  I am working my way through the list slowly!


The book challenge
Words at 9/5/14 - 76,000 (please note that his has dropped because of reallocating some stuff to another book).  
36,500 words done since the challenge began, 6,000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - Chapter 18.
What I did last - My favourite arguing with her father.