Ah, the car. If there’s one thing outside the home and the pocketbook that sets a relationship on edge, it’s the car. One of our fans writes in:
“I’m not one to stereotype female drivers, but there is one thing I’ve noticed about most women. They hardly ever use the emergency brake! It drives me crazy, especially if my girlfriend’s driving my car!!”
To be fair, I side with this guy. I’m a man and pretty much always use the emergency/parking brake — though I’ll point out that my mom — a human woman — is the one who taught me to do that. And while I’ve never been able to figure out why, I have indeed noticed that more of my male friends tend to use the E-brake than my female friends. When I pushed one woman on why she doesn’t use it, she replied that only needs to use it when she’s on a steep hill.
After poking around on the web, I can tell you that’s wrong. According to multiple sources, you should use your parking brake every time you park. As one driving school says, “Many people think you only need to use your parking brake when parking on a hill or if your car has a manual transmission. This is incorrect; whether your car is a manual or automatic, the terrain is hilly or flat, you should use your parking brake every time you park.”
There are some downsides — you can wear out the emergency brake’s cable over time, for example — but the downsides of not using the brake are worse. So, as the experts over at Car Talk put it, “Floss your teeth, call your mother once a week and use your parking brake.”