It'll Drive You Mad, Chaps ...but Women Give the Best Directions

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 23, 2010 | Go to article overview
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It'll Drive You Mad, Chaps ...but Women Give the Best Directions


Byline: Bill Mouland

CALM, confident and most definitely unflappable, many drivers prefer to listen to a soothing female voice on their car's satellite navigation system.

Now research may have found the reason why - because women are simply better at giving directions. In spite of the urban myth that they lack men's driving skills and are unable to read maps, a study found women are streets ahead when it comes to telling strangers how to get from A to B. And although women are more reluctant than men to say how long the journey will take, they are much more likely to get it right.

Experts observed 30 men and 30 women giving directions at a petrol station. A researcher approached motorists and asked first if they were local and then if they knew how to get to a nearby tourist attraction.

Most of the motorists wanted to be helpful even if it was obvious that a handful did not have a clue.

Women were more likely to take their time while giving directions.

Twice as many women as men 'paused significantly' during the exercise - sometimes talking out loud to themselves as they went over the route. The result was that women were more likely to give accurate directions - with a quarter of them spot on, three per cent better than the men.

When it came to saying how many miles there were to go, two-thirds of the men got it wrong, but half of the women got it right.

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It'll Drive You Mad, Chaps ...but Women Give the Best Directions
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