A scientific paper in this months Nature magazine, offers irrefutable evidence to confirm the commonly held belief that women are dangerous drivers. Using supermarket aisles to simulate genuine road conditions and substituting wire trolleys for motor cars, Professor Rex Hancock and a team from University College Oxford studied women 'drivers' over an exhaustive 3 year trial.
Starting from the premiss that all women drivers struggle to park efficiently, regularly block slow lanes whilst filing nails and chatting on mobile telephones, hog fast lanes whenever late for hairdressing appointments - and spend countless hours gazing at themselves in the rear-view mirror - Professor Hancock set out to investigate the hypothesis that the female gene is spatially unaware.
“The brain of a woman might well remain an enigma for another thousand years. Meanwhile, some of our results are terrifying,” he told journalists.
Included among the trial data is film evidence of multiple pile-ups as madcap women rushed mindlessly down aisles, casually swerved in and out of other shoppers, then screeched to a sudden halt in order to gossip with a neighbour. In a separate section, other women were filmed crashing their trolleys headlong into the oriental spice counter at Waitrose - making dangerous 3-point turns in the middle of the main vegetable track at Sainsbury - pranging parked-up trolleys at the wet fish counter in Morrisons - and recklessly smashing their way against the flow of on-coming traffic in Tesco.
“In hindsight, thank goodness the police forbade us to conduct these experiments on the open highway,” said Professor Hancock. “There'd have been a bloodbath.”
Concluding his paper, Hancock draws particular attention to check-out tills which he took to be traffic lights. “Having caused mayhem and slaughter in the aisles, many women arrive at the check-out tills and simply switch-off. We don't yet understand what comes over them, other than they seem to disappear onto another planet. Many wander off in search of something they've forgotten; some put on dark glasses and flick through celebrity magazines; others get lost checking to see who looks glamorous and who looks a mess – most manage to mislay their credit cards and their purse.”
“As a temporary measure and until such time as I discover precisely what is and what isn't going on inside the head of the average female, I've advised the Ministry of Transport to order a million new signposts. Similar to those warning of landslides, cattle crossing or low-flying aircraft. They'll be rolled-out across the country this autumn and will read - “Beware Women Drivers!”