Hello! My name is Chad Benefield and I am a witness for the prosecution. We are prosecuting our coworker Brooklyn Maple because she can't park worth a crap. I point your attention to Exhibit A above. Do you see the Jeep in that photo? More importantly, do you see how far away from the curb that Jeep is parked? The rear tire on the driver's side is nearly an adult's body length away from the curb. Honestly, we could probably ask a 6th grader to lay down on the pavement and they'd fit comfortably between the tire and the edge of the sidewalk.

This is ridiculous!

Chad Benefield
Chad Benefield

In fact, Brooklyn's parking job was so botched, she ended up blocking traffic from our carport. If someone had pulled up under it, they would have to have backed out to leave. If they had gone forward, they would be playing bumper cars with the Jeep.

I've known other people who park just as miserably. And, look! I will be honest with you. I am 51-years-old and I cannot, to this day, parallel park worth a damn. So, guess what? I don't even try it.

When I saw how Brooklyn parked the Jeep, I was curious to know if anyone had ever performed a study about the ways in which people park their cars. Now, I had no idea if anyone had ever conducted this kind of research and I couldn't find much. However, I did find the results of a 2014 study that linked car parking to your economic potential.

According to the study, which was conducted by a researcher at Old Dominion University in Virginia and summarized in a NextShark.com article, "Something as simple as the way you park your car shows how you prepare yourself for the future."

The guiding question for the research was this:

Do you take the easy way first and park head in while you have to cautiously and carefully back out when you leave, or do you take the effort to back in first so that your exit is smooth and simple?

Want to know some interesting findings from the study? Americans, as a general rule, like to take the easy way out. Only about 6% of Americans, according to the research, take the time to back into the space. In China, it's nearly the polar opposite. The Chinese, according to the same research, are methodical in their approach. 88% of cars there are parked reverse.

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For Shaomin Li- the lead researcher- parking in reverse is basically delayed gratification and countries that practice this exercise "seem to have higher economic growth rates."

Wait. What? Really? Maybe.

Another recent study, this one by the Journal of Statistical Mechanics, tackled the same issue. That study identifies three types of parkers.

So, which kind of parker are you?

A) The Meek? You grab the first parking place you see no matter how far away it is?

B) The Optimistic? You're convinced you can find a parking place up front and close to the entrance of where you're going?

C) The Prudent? You'll pass the first available spot, but will settle on the next one you see?

And, since I wrote this story based on my research of one coworker/test subject, I threw in another option.

D) The Bad? Just like Brooklyn?


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