A recent UK study of 1,000 drivers reveals women are, on average, 12 percent angrier than men are when they’re behind the wheel.
Researchers found driving sparked ancient ‘defence’ instincts from when humans were hunter-gatherers.
These evolutionary traits kicked in during the test when women were either undertaken, shouted or beeped at, had to deal with a back-seat driver (women 14 percent angrier) or were faced with a road user who failed to indicate (women 13 percent angrier). In all test scenarios, women were more likely to respond with anger than male drivers were.
The experiment, conducted by Patrick Fagan, behavioural psychologist from Goldsmiths University London, ‘sense tested’ the 1,000 drivers to see how sound, sight, smell, touch and taste provoke emotional responses in different driving scenarios.
The study found there are two dominant emotions: happiness – intrinsically linked to a sense of freedom when driving – and anger when drivers feel out of control.
Explaining the results of the Hyundai UK sponsored survey, Fagan commented: “Psychologically, women score higher than men on emotional and verbal intelligence, and on the personality trait of neuroticism. Evolutionary theory suggests our early female ancestors had to develop an acute sense of danger for anything that threatened them and their young if their cave was undefended while men were out hunting. That ‘early warning system’ instinct is still relevant today, and women drivers tend to be more sensitive to negative stimuli, so get angry and frustrated quicker.”
Other key findings include:
The primary reasons for our continued love affair with driving are the freedom it gives us (51 percent), mobility (19 percent) and independence (10 percent). If you want a man to open up, take him for a drive. Just under a third (29 percent) of men said they find it easier to have a conversation in the car. Fourteen percent added that a chat actually makes them a better driver.
Around 54 percent of Brits said the thing that made them happy in the car was singing. When the researchers looked at what makes us happy behind the wheel, 84 per cent of people said “empty roads”, 78 per cent said “the countryside” and 69 per cent “the seaside.”
Music also makes drivers happy. Eight out of 10 people nearly always listen to something while driving with Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody top of the driving charts. Pop (70 percent) and rock (61 percent) are the most popular genres.
Contact the writer/ranter at keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca
Even when there is room to pass on the left it seem the taxi driver’s choice is to zoom down the curb lane and try to cut in at the last second when they come up against a parked car.
What drives you crazy?
One of the biggest traffic beefs expressed by readers is about left turners who won’t move out into the intersection.
Doing so, enables at least two cars and perhaps three to make the turn at the light change, which reduces frustration. The other day I saw a police car barely straddle the crosswalk, refusing to move out. What hope is there?
To my left, a middle-aged man was having an animated discussion on his hand-held cell, while to my right a young woman was not only chatting but peering closely at her eyeliner in the rearview mirror. Then behind me, I spied a fast-approaching Bimmer: thank goodness, he didn’t need his hands to brake because he too looked like he was tearing a strip off somebody on his phone!
He had passed a row of three cars on a wide single lane and bolted at the light, cutting in sharply at the other side of the intersection. It was such a pleasure to behold because it happens so infrequently – the booking for such an annoying practice, that is!
Well, it seems many drivers don’t know that, because they frequently block intersections where major roads meet with minor neighbourhood streets in contravention of local bylaws.
They are a danger to themselves and other road users. When the car heats up that snow generally slides down in a block over their windshield causing one-car white out conditions, long enough for them to collide with you!