Holiday Parking Snafus: Men More Likely to Hit Cars, People and Poles, and Keep Others Waiting

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A new surveys examines parking lot strategies and problems.

A quarter of drivers avoid parking next to cars with body damage, while 16 percent avoid SUVs and 11 percent avoid cars with toys and safety seats."

Chances are that driver hitting something or someone in a busy parking lot this holiday season will be a man, according to's new survey. And if someone is waiting to take a spot and the other driver is taking their own sweet time? The one waiting is probably a man., an independent quote comparison website, surveyed 2,000 drivers asking them what strategy they use to score a parking spot in a crowded lot as well as which spaces they covet, what types of parking accidents they've experienced and how they reacted in parking lot confrontations.

Many drivers are willing to circle around until they find the right spot. Here’s how people say they deal with crowded lots:

  • The vulture: Circles the lot at least twice before deciding where to park: 38%
  • The stalker: Follows people with bags or shopping carts and waits for them to load and leave: 24%
  • The quitter: Leaves if the parking lot is crowded and has few open spaces: 10%
  • The thief: Cuts someone off to get their spot: 3%
  • The sherpa: Straddles their car on top of snow banks to fit in spaces others won't dare to use: 3%

More men than women have hit carts, poles, cart corrals, cars and pedestrians in parking lots. Among those who have had a parking lot accident, here's what happened:

  • Someone hit me: 53% (Women: 59%; Men: 45%)
  • I hit another car: 35% (Women: 33%; Men 37%)
  • I hit a pole: 15% (Women: 11%; Men 19%)
  • I hit a cart: 8% (Women: 5%; Men: 12%)
  • I hit a cart corral: 6% (Women: 4%; Men 8%)
  • I hit a pedestrian: 4% (Women: 1%; Men 8%)

Among people who have had parking lot confrontations over spaces, here’s what happened:

  • Used a hand gesture while driving away: 23% (Women: 20%; Men 27%)
  • Said something to the other party: 16% (Women: 12%; Men 20%)
  • Physically touched the other person: 5% (Women: 2%; Men 8%)
  • Physically touched the other person's car: 3% (Women: 1%; Men 5%)
  • Called security or the police: 3% (Women: 2%; Men 4%)

"There’s also the passive-aggressive approach," said Michelle Megna, managing editor of "Fourteen percent of people have left a note for the driver of a badly parked car.”

When someone is waiting to take a spot being vacated, 40 percent of women hurry up but only 25 percent of men pick up the pace. Eighteen percent of men take their time if they know another driver is waiting for their spot; only 10 percent of women will slow down.

“Men are also more likely to employ special methods for getting into a parking spot, while women typically just try to get their cars between the lines,” said Megna.

  • Average Joe: You just try to get in the middle of the lines: 65% (Women: 73%; Men 58%)
  • The planner: Parks only in spaces where car can face out because much easier to pull out than back out: 20% (Women: 19%; Men 21%)
  • The perfectionist: No less than 5 moves to get into the space – it takes a long time to get it just right: 6% (Women: 4%; Men 8%)
  • The homecoming queen/king: You park at an angle over two spaces: 4% (Women 2%; Men 7%)
  • The optimist: Even though not enough room to open your car door, you squeezed in there anyway: 4% (Women: 2%; Men 6%)

"Drivers are also choosy about who they park near," said Megna. "A quarter of drivers avoid parking next to cars with body damage, while 16 percent avoid SUVs and 11 percent avoid cars with toys and safety seats."

Shoppers dislike metered parking the most, with 54 percent of drivers saying they will avoid a store with only metered spaces. Thirty-two percent will avoid stores with only parallel parking available; 13 percent will pass on stores with only parking garages.

Car insurance and parking lot accidents and thefts

While holiday shoppers may know exactly what gifts they need to buy, their knowledge of the role car insurance plays in parking lot incidents is lacking, according to the survey. Only 39 percent correctly chose liability insurance as the coverage that pays for damage to the other car in an at-fault accident. Only 38 percent know that collision coverage pays for car damage if one hits a pole. And when it comes to having gifts stolen from a parked car, only 20 percent of respondents knew that homeowners or renters insurance pays out– not comprehensive car insurance, as 51 percent thought.

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Methodology commissioned an online-panel survey of 2,000 licensed drivers age 25 or older, half men and half women and distributed across the U.S. according to Census population data. The survey was fielded in September 2014.

About, an independent quote comparison website, has been offering drivers expert advice about the different types of car insurance and how to shop for them since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes. is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs.



Press contact:
Michelle Megna
MichelleM (at) quinstreet (dot) com

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Michelle Megna
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