Do you already own a fuel-efficient car — that you vigilantly hypermile to save gas and money? Then I hope you know where you’re going, because driving lost in a greener car is still a big waste of fuel. In fact, you can lose about $3,000 over your lifetime by refusing to ask for directions!

That’s according to insurers Sheilas’ Wheels, which conducted a study to find that the average male driver drives 276 miles lost every year. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to stop and ask for directions — saving themselves time, gas, and money — and preventing unnecessary air pollution!

When I first read about this study, I had this feeling some men would find perfectly “logical” reasons why they should not ask for directions despite clear financial and environmental reasons for doing so. I wasn’t disappointed. GOOD’s web editor Andrew Price came through for me by claiming that even when he doesn’t know where he’s going, he’s not actually lost. How’s that? “It’s reductive to think there are just two states: ‘lost’ and ‘not lost,’ ” is the rationale Andrew comes up with:

When I have opted to feel out directions rather than ask or try to get somewhere on memory and intuition, it’s usually because I had a good idea of where I was going without knowing exactly whether the next turn is supposed to be before or after the underpass.
If you run across Andrew on his 276-mile, lost-but-not-lost “memory and intuition” detour this year, please point him in the right direction. Funny stereotypes aside, women drivers who don't ask for directions will obviously also end up wasting just as much time, money, and gas as their male counterparts. Ask for directions -- or if you have a GPS, use it!

Also on MNN:

MNN homepage photo: stephconnell/iStockphoto

The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.