Millions of motorists are suffering from ‘parallelophobia’ – a fear of parallel parking, according to a new study.
Almost a third of drivers, that’s potentially more than 11 million, admit the prospect of trying to manoeuvre their motor into a parallel space drives them to distraction, and 34% confessed they think it’s the hardest parking technique.
More than half of drivers have gone past an empty space because it meant they would have had to carry out the procedure they fear the most.
Three in 10 admit to parking more than a MILE from their destination rather than attempt to parallel park.
And one in five said they would rather continue to circle round a car park or street until an easier space becomes available.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com which commissioned the survey of 2,000 drivers to mark the launch of its new parking tool, said: “Parallelophobia is a fear that resonates with many drivers, with some going to great lengths to avoid performing the manoeuvre.
“As one of the more technical parts of driving, it’s understandable why some motorists may be frightened of damaging other cars as well as their own.
“This week drivers everywhere will be hitting the sales and competing for precious parking spaces, so it’s likely that this phobia of parallel parking will be heightened over the period.
“Those who are confident parallel parkers should use their fearlessness to their advantage as it will surely give them the best chance of getting a space during this competitive time.”
The study also revealed that 63% of drivers said they struggle to park when they’re trying to get used to the size of their new car.
In fact, some of the most common problems when trying to parallel park were found to be bumping into the car in front or behind, becoming stuck mid-manoeuvre and unable to get out of the space or accidentally running someone over .
And of those who have bumped another car while trying to parallel park, only five per cent said they left their insurance details for the other driver.
But it seems stress might be a big factor as knowing there are other drivers waiting for you to complete the parallel park and having a partner in the car have been named as two of the most stressful parts about parallel parking.
The study found that many drivers struggle with the manoeuvre because they’re frightened of hitting someone else’s car, while one in five admit it’s because they have no spatial awareness.
Nearly one in five (18%) said they have real problems parallel parking because they can’t see the front or back of their car from the driver’s seat.
Many will avoid the task altogether by parking on a curb and some have even asked their travel companion to get out and park the car for them.
The study revealed, one in 10 women thinks everything about parking is stressful to them – it’s one of the hardest parts about driving.
In fact 77% of men find it easy to complete a parallel park, compared to only 44% of women.
To help drivers save money and overcome the stresses of parking Confused.com has launched a parking tool which allows drivers to find and book over 250,000 parking spaces nationwide.