(WYTV) – You’re going shopping at the mall. Is there a best way to pick a parking space that will get you in the store in the least amount of time — assuming you’re not out to exercise, deliberately parking far away from the entrance?
According to a study from the Journal of Statistical Mechanics in September 2019, one parking strategy is better than the others.
The study divided drivers into three categories — meek, optimistic and prudent.
Meek drivers settle for the first spot they find, even if it means a long walk.
Optimistic drivers hunt, certain they’ll eventually find the spot right at the front entrance, no matter how many times they have to circle the lot.
Prudent drivers also go round and round, but not too much. They may end up backtracking to a spot the meek driver picked up right away.
Using pure mathematics, the scientists created a simulation and found the “prudent” strategy was the best because it cost the least amount of time. It was followed by the “optimistic” strategy and the “meek” strategy came last.
In real life, most people spend too much time looking for the closest spot.
People will try to get a parking spot closest to the door of their exercise club.
Another study in the journal Transportation Science offers this technique — randomly pick a row and go to the closest space in that row, rather than driving up and down rows looking for a closer spot.
In other words, the time you save finding a spot makes up for the longer time spent walking to the front door. It’s not a lot of time, though, averaging about 10 seconds.