Is it the seductive lure of the word tail that induces men to drive six inches from the back bumper of the car ahead? What seems to be a purely male preoccupation with tailgating is a mystery to most women. As we sit in the passenger seat with our right foot on an imaginary brake pedal, we have absolutely no understanding of why men do it. Perhaps it has something to do with that Y chromosome thingie. Our gentle suggestion that he back off a bit is usually met with an instant hostile sideways glance and slightly increased pressure on the gas pedal. Then, there’s the other kind of tailgating which happens in the parking lot at football games. Also highly testosterone-charged and invented by men.
Everyone knows that women are better drivers. Check with your insurance company to verify this fact. We rarely tailgate, squeal tires or stomp on the brakes at a red light. How many times as passengers have we nearly been pitched through the front windshield when some a**hole ahead of us is supposedly driving too slowly. And for the record, I never let my gas tank go below one-quarter full and risk running out of gas, which is particularly critical in winter when we might get stranded. Those Y chromosomers however, guarantee they’re still good for at least another twenty miles after the fuel tank indicator starts flashing yellow as it bounces on E .
The differences in the relationship between men and women and their vehicles are legendary. Men like lots of cubic litres and cylinders. We like lots of cup holders. They like speed and lots of horsepower. We opt for comfort. One of the first questions a woman asks when buying a car is “what colours does it come in?” while men unilaterally prefer black—metallic black is the best. It goes faster. And women will never understand why a vehicle cannot be taken care of and driven for at least ten years. Where is the logic in trading vehicles every two or three years to replace it with another black one that looks almost identical to the one being traded? Oh—of course. The old one needed new tires and everyone knows they cost almost as much as a new vehicle.
Statistics indicate that nearly eighty percent of car buying decisions are influenced by women. Despite that, men still wield most of the power in the design, engineering, marketing and retailing of vehicles. And their decision-making process when considering a trade is totally different from a woman’s. We consult our budget, do the math, pro-rate the cost over the anticipated life of the vehicle, compare gas efficiency, factor in capitalization, study the safety features and cargo capacity. Men see a big, shiny new toy and are immediately “sold”. And the new vehicle is sitting in our driveway before we’ve even had a chance to ask, “What colours does it come in?”.