Here’s a caveat: we’re just reporting on this. Please don’t get angry with us about it. Though actually, given the content, you’re probably more likely to get angry about it. At least that’s what Hyundai reckons. Hyundai, not us. We wouldn’t be so bold as to say you’re angry drivers. But alas, that seems to be the case. According to science, that is.
Because the business of making cars seemingly doesn’t take up all of Hyundai’s time, the firm has also been conducting studies. One example, thanks to help from Patrick Fagan, behavioural psychologist from Goldsmiths University London, is this: the study of lady-rage behind the wheel. Apparently you’re far more angry than us chaps!
Angry Drivers – the study
The recent study of 1,000 UK drivers reveals women are, on average, 12% angrier than men when they’re behind the wheel. They were all ‘sense tested’ to see how sound, sight, smell, touch and taste provoke emotional responses in different driving scenarios. It’s psychology, apparently.
The study consisting of a Driving Emotion Test (DET) found there are two dominant emotions: happiness – intrinsically linked to a sense of freedom when driving – and anger when drivers feel out of control. Other key findings include:
- The primary reasons for our continued love affair with driving are the freedom it gives us (51%), mobility (19%) and independence (10%).
- If you want a man to open up, take him for a drive. Just under a third (29%) 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.
- 54% of Brits said the thing that made them really happy in the car was singing – which explains why Carpool Karaoke has resonated with so many people.
- When the researchers looked at what makes us happy behind the wheel, 84% of people said “empty roads”, 78% said “the countryside” and 69% “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%) and rock (61%) are the most popular genres.
Angry Drivers – the results
Explaining the results, 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. This was 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. Women drivers tend to be more sensitive to negative stimuli, so get angry and frustrated quicker.”
So there you have it. It’s because you’re better at seeing danger than us, which is understandable. Our Mum rescued us from danger lots. Though we thought jumping down the stairs would be fun. Apparently we were wrong. The female brain is, as science has proved, better self-preservation than the male equivalent. That’s what it all boils down to.
So, women drivers of the world, your car-based rage may be greater than ours, but as it turns out, it’s more justified. Unlike Jeff from Brixham who shouts at anything, you do it through genuine perception and a desire to protect. That’s really rather impressive.
If you want to see where your rage stacks up, Hyundai has developed a test based on this research. The general public can do an online version of the DET and can also secure tickets to House of Hyundai – a stunning three-day sensory experience on the 4th and 5th November 2016 at Unit London in Soho, aimed to inspire drivers and give them a glimpse into what the future of driving could look like. If like that kind of thing.