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Women more likely to see red behind the wheel

Women drivers are more prone to road rage than men, new research from Hyundai Motor UK suggests.

Angry woman driver

The Hyundai research found driving sparked ancient ‘defence’ instincts from when humans were hunter-gatherers, making women on average 12% more angry than men behind the wheel

According to the study of 1,000 UK drivers, women are, on average, 12% more likely to see red than men when they’re behind the wheel.

The research found driving sparked ancient ‘defence’ instincts from when humans were hunter-gatherers, which kicked in when women were either undertaken, shouted or beeped at, had to deal with a back-seat driver (women 14% angrier) or were faced with a road user who failed to indicate (women 13% angrier).  In all test scenarios, women were more likely to respond with anger than male drivers.

Patrick Fagan, behavioural psychologist from Goldsmiths University London, who conducted the experiment, explained: “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.”

Hyundai and Fagan have used data from the research to create the world first Driving Emotion Test (DET). This uses facial coding technology, eye tracking analysis, galvanic skin response and a heartrate monitor, with the results then fed into specially created software to provide subjects with a unique DET score.

To carry out a test, and also enter a competition to win tickets for the House of Hyundai three-day sensory experience taking place 4-5 November 2016 at Unit London in Soho, visit: www.houseofhyundai.com

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.