I had no idea you ladies have so much inner road rage.
If you see a driver cussing in front of kids in the car or flipping people off, it’s most likely to be a woman.
Insurance.com commissioned a survey of 1,000 adults, asking them about their rude driving behavior and if they had any regrets about it.
Men aren’t pillars of polite driving either – they are twice as likely as women to key someone’s car or flash drivers with their high-beams just to be mean, survey results show.
It’s likely that most women aren’t swearing in front of their children at home, or that anyone is flipping off an annoying person, say, in line at the grocery store. But people feel less inhibited when driving because they feel more anonymous, says Leon James, psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, who has conducted research on driving behaviors.
“Our social behaviors are for the most part conditioned by the social environment. Different rules apply to different places,” he says. “The car gives us the illusion of being alone and safe in our fortress. If we do something ugly or inconsiderate we can always get away. But this is different when standing in line with others who are right there next to us.”
Our socialization and culture also influence how we act behind the wheel, says James. “Our driving behavior styles are culturally determined. I call the back seat of the car ‘road rage nursery.’ That’s when our driver education begins. We absorb how the parents or other adults drive and how they talk and complain behind the wheel,” he says. “We also watch TV scenes and commercials where driving aggressively, fast and with plenty of verbal rudeness are portrayed as attractive and satisfying. So, getting behind the wheel changes the rules.”
Additionally, driving is often viewed as a competitive activity, which makes people behave more aggressively than they otherwise would. “Drivers have acquired the philosophy that in such competitive social situations it’s alright to do whatever one can to beat out the others,” says James, “whether it’s the trip time, or getting into the fastest lane and switching around, or driving on the shoulder and getting ahead of everyone.”
Just don’t let this happen to you while you’re behind the wheel and cussing out the kids, ladies!