U-turn as men are declared better at parking

A few weeks after research claimed to finally prove that women are better at parking than men, new evidence has emerged to suggest four-wheel chauvinists could be right after all.

Driving Standards Agency figures show that last year nearly 57,000 women failed their driving test because they committed a "serious and dangerous fault" while reverse parking. This compared with 31,000 men who made the same errors of observation and control in the notoriously tricky manoeuvre.

Men scored better than women in all but three categories. Fewer women failed the eye test or did not look in their mirrors and signal. A greater number of men failed to move off safely. The most problematic area for both sexes was remaining observant at a junction, with 201,175 learner drivers failing on this point.

Last year, 1.6 million learners took their test with an overall first-time pass rate of 46 per cent. Men continue to be more successful, with 6 per cent more throwing away their L-plates at the first attempt compared with women. The number of second attempts means more women than men take the test each year.