Road Rage

A New Hyundai Study Says Women Are Angrier Drivers Than Men

Score one for the guys.

One of the biggest stereotypes in the world is that women are worse drivers than men. Although we’ve seen funny evidence that proves this theory the reality is that members of both sex are equally capable of being crappy drivers. But what about when it comes to road rage? Which sex is more prone to getting angry while driving? We won’t offer up our opinion on such a controversial topic, and fortunately we don’t have to as Hyundai Motor UK commissioned behavioral psychologist Patrick Fagan to find out.

We’re genuinely surprised that a major automaker would spend money on a study like this, and that it would then publicize the results. Speaking of which, what did Fagan find? Well, as it turns out, women are angrier behind the wheel. The test measured a participant’s sensory response to four scenarios: being undertaken (overtaking from the slow lane), getting honked or shouted at, having a backseat driver call the shots and dealing with a merger who isn’t signaling. The study had 1,000 participants, all from the UK. It found that on average women were 12% angrier behind the wheel than men. Women had less patience for backseat drivers (13% angrier at them than men) and for those who didn't signal (14% angrier).

What’s the reason for these results? Fagan believes it may be evolutionary. “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,” Fagan wrote. So there you have it. Do you buy Fagan’s research or do you think his study was bunk?

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