Women angrier drivers than men, UK study finds

Student Tanner Curley holds onto the steering wheel as he drives with instructor Alan Coats in State College, Pa., Friday, Feb. 27 2009.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Student Tanner Curley holds onto the steering wheel as he drives with instructor Alan Coats in State College, Pa., Friday, Feb. 27 2009. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

HIGH WYCOMBE, England (WCMH/WOOD) — Women are angrier than men when they’re behind the wheel, according to a recent study by Hyundai Motor UK.

Researchers studied 1,000 drivers in the United Kingdom. They found on average that women were 12 percent angrier than men when they were driving.

The researchers say the reason may be an evolutionary defense instinct, dating back to when humans were hunter-gatherers.

“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,” explained behavioral psychologist Patrick Fagan, who conducted the study.

During road tests, women were more likely to respond to certain situations with anger, including being shouted at, beeped at, having to deal with a back seat driver, or when dealing with another driver who didn’t use his or her turn signal.

Among all drivers studied, the majority reported feeling happier behind the wheel when there was little to no traffic and music filled the vehicle.

To test your own emotional intelligence behind the wheel, use Hyundai’s Driving Emotion Test online.


The original version of this story was first posted on WCMH’s website.