Apparently the stereotypical male phobia surrounding asking for directions isn't just real, it's actually pretty expensive. The U.K.'s Telegraph has an article this week on a recent study of the cost of driving while lost, commissioned by Sheilas' Wheels, a U.K.-based auto insurance provider that caters mainly to female drivers:
… This "lost" driving time comes with a price, resulting in men wasting up to £2,000 worth of fuel over their lifetime.
Almost three-quarters of women (74 percent) said they had no qualms about asking for directions with 37 percent saying they would pull over as soon as they realized they were lost, compared to just 30 percent of men. However, 40 percent of the men said that even if they were to ask a stranger for directions, they wouldn't always trust or follow them.
Over a third of 1,000 motorists polled (34 percent) said they would rather ask a woman than a man for directions (28 percent). Two in five men (41 percent) also admitted telling passengers that they knew where they were going when in fact they were lost – compared to a quarter (26 percent) of women.
Just in case you're wondering, £2,000 is about $3,070 at today's exchange rates. I'm not sure how American males' stubbornness compares to their British counterparts, but I'd bet it's comparable. Whatever the American figure is, it will probably go down thanks to car-based GPS and Google Maps.
But I don't think technology will ever totally eliminate waste created by getting lost, as Michael Scott could probably tell you, and it would be a good idea to keep that $3,000 figure in mind the next time you're thinking about taking your sixth u-turn rather than stopping to ask directions.
What do you think? Are American men overly reluctant to ask for directions, or is that just a stereotype and/or a British thing?