In a new poll by the AA, over a quarter of men said they would be very unlikely to ask for directions even if they had not a notion where they were.
Female drivers emerged as far more likely to stop and ask for directions than men. More than half of women, compared to just over 30 per cent of men, polled by the AA said they would not hesitate to roll down their window or stop off to get directions when lost.
Men also declare themselves to be better map-readers than women, according to the survey of some 13,000 Irish motorists carried out by the AA.
While half of female motorists on Irish roads believe they have an excellent sense of direction, 13 per cent have admitted that theirs is frustratingly poor – meaning they often have to rely on SatNavs, their passengers, and a lot of forward planning when driving to somewhere unfamiliar.
Whether pride or just plain fact, fewer than five per cent of the 7,700 male motorists surveyed classified their sense of direction as chronically bad.
A map seemingly is not much good to some women out there either. Almost 10 per cent of the 5,400 women polled by the AA said that they find map reading quite tricky, compared to less than two per cent of men. Despite the obvious stereotype, the majority of women are not so perplexed; over half of the female drivers surveyed described themselves as proficient map readers, compared to 80 per cent of men.
“I think it’s safe to say that spatial orientation varies quite a bit from person to person,” said John Farrell, director of AA Insurance.
“Getting lost or confused can be a huge distraction and even quite dangerous. If you get lost find somewhere safe to pull in, get your bearings, and take a deep breath so that you can focus fully on driving when you get back out onto the road.”
The AA also advises motorists to do their homework first and download their route for free via AA Route Planner – the free online tool is available at www.aarouteplanner.ie