Study Finds That Women are Angrier Behind the Wheel and Empty Roads Make 84 Percent of Drivers Happy
You’re on your way out of town for the holiday weekend, but 100 miles into your trip you’re stuck behind inconsiderate prick who is riding side-by-side with a Semi on a two-lane highway doing 10 mph under the limit. You honk your horn casually in an attempt to motivate them, but your only reply is a middle finger and a quick brake check. Talk about rude! Well, believe it or not, that inconsiderate prick is more likely to be a woman than a man. While it might not make sense, because women are made from sugar and spice and everything nice, a recent U.K. study has shown that women are actually 12-percent angrier than men when they’re behind the wheel. That’s right; a woman is more likely to lose it when driving than a man.
The study was commissioned by Hyundai UK and conducted by Patrick Fagan – a behavioral psychologist at Goldsmiths University London. The main purpose was to “sense test” licensed drivers to see how different things like sound, sight, and smell lead to emotional responses in various driving scenarios. A total of 1,000 licensed drivers were tested, and the results are actually pretty surprising. As already mentioned women are 12-percent angrier when behind the wheel, 14-percent angrier when dealing with a backseat driver (most likely a man,) and 13-percent angrier when forced to deal with another driver who neglects to use their turn signals before changing lanes or turning. That’s just one part of the study, however, and it’s not all bad for women.
Explaining the overall results of the study, Patrick Fagan said, “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. “
After that explanation, it does make sense, but anger levels aren’t all that the study has shown us. There are actually two dominate emotions linked to driving. One is, as we’ve already discussed, anger while the other is actually happiness – two ends of the same spectrum. The primary fuel behind happiness behind the wheel was found to be derived from the sense of freedom felt when driving. Next in line that contributes to happiness in 19 percent of drivers is the sense of mobility, and finally, 10 percent of drivers are happy just because of the independence associated with driving yourself around.
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The study also provided some other interesting findings that are even a little shocking. For instance, it was found that 29 percent of men find it easier to have a conversation in a vehicle, while 14 percent of men claim that in-car chat makes them a better driver. And, when it comes to what makes drivers happy, things “empty roads” and “countryside” driving were among the top things with empty roads said to make 84 percent of drivers happy and countryside driving coming in at 78 percent. Seaside driving was found to make 69 percent of people happy. Eight out of ten people admitted that they almost always listen to music with Pop coming being favored by 70 percent and rock favored by 61 percent.
Take the Test Online
Hyundai and Fagan have been able to use data collected from this study along with “cutting-edge technology” like facial recognition, eye tracking, heart rate, and skin response to provide subjects with a “DET score.” Now, you can’t participate in an in-depth test online, however, there is an online-based DET test that you can try out right now here. You simply answer a hand full of questions about your driving habits and the system computes your score. I took the test myself and scored a 107, which is apparently normal with the rest of the population (or in this case, the 1,000 British drivers who have participated in the study.)
With all of that said, what do you think? Are the results of this study accurate? Go ahead and take the online test yourself and post your score in the comments below. We would love to hear your results and thoughts.