FEMALE SA PETROLHEAD: Women's Day is about appreciating and recognising the strength, humbleness and ferocious spirit of the fairer sex but Wheels24's Janine Van der Post continues to battle for a woman's place on SA's roads. Image: Porsche / Achim Hartmann
Cape Town - Each year various companies send out safer driving tips for women or insurance tips that can be beneficial for female policy holders. It seems in motoring there are different standards depending on gender.
We're either labelled as 'safe drivers' or perpetually 'don't know how to park'. If there's a crash or a motoring infraction, you're likely to hear 'It was probably a woman driver'.
It's all rather derogatory. Female motorists in SA bear the brunt of bad driving jokes and are often subjected to discrimination (try being a female mechanic).
Wheels24's Janine Van der Post lists her 5 biggest pet peeves about being a female driver in SA:
1. Is this your husband's car?
If pulled over by law officials at a roadblock, authorities are always surprised at seeing a female driving a fast car. Officials are shell-shocked to see a female behind the wheel of a powerful Mercedes-Benz AMG or a brutal 3.0-litre BMW M4. Following a trivial licence and disk check, they might ask me to rev the vehicle and will blatantly admit you were pulled over just to 'check out the new car'. Seriously guys! Equally annoying is the assumption that the car I'm driving belongs to my husband, as if I couldn't possibly own a fast car...
2. Mechanics and auto dealers treat you differently
When you walk in to a mechanical workshop or parts store and the assistant thinks you have no idea what he's "torquing" about. What's worse, is the use of a condescending tone or that they believe they can pull one over on you just because you're a woman. It's equally difficult for female mechanics as male customers might discriminate against them. What happened to placing value in someone's skill and experience?
READ: SA mechanic woes - Top 10 crazy, funny customer questions
Female Wheels24 readers - do you have any pet peeves about being a female driver on SA's roads? Share your thoughts with us!
3. Slow down!
When my husband tells me to "slow down" or "don't rush" when I'm on my way home, yet he times me anyway to determine the (lawful) speed I might have been travelling. This of course is met with resistance if I attempt to do the same while he's driving.
4. Racing and bruised egos
This happens more often than I'd like; guys believe there's a chance to race when pulling up next to me at a traffic light while I'm driving a hot car. They're disappointed when they see who's behind the wheel but not half as much when I leave them eating dust off the line. I used to race my old Toyota Corolla 20V when I was younger, you'd think that would garner some respect from rivals. Instead it only generates hostility towards me and the phrase 'beaten by a girl' never fails to grate my nerves...
5. The need for speed... and parenting
The image below is self-explanatory for petrolheads who have to switch priorities from 'drive it like you stole it' because a) there's a child in the back seat and b) shopping bags and egg trays in the boot.