Friday 30th July 2010: New research out today reveals that female motorists are calmer, less distracted and safer on the roads during the summer months than men(1) who appear to suffer more from both hot tempers and heated libidos when the temperatures soar.
In the Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance ‘intemperate temperatures’ poll, a fifth of the male motoring population (21 per cent) admitting to being more prone to road rage and aggressive driving behaviour in the summer. This is backed by the company’s own in-house claims data(2) which reveals that last year men made 16.4 per cent more claims during the summer period than women.
Sheilas’ Wheels’ research found that a quarter (25 per cent) of men surveyed claim to have had at least one summertime crash or near miss in the last five years compared to just 17 per cent of women. Hot weather is cited as a main catalyst for these motoring misdemeanours with 45 per cent of men admitting that they feel the effects of the sun or soaring temperatures whilst behind the wheel.
However, it’s not just the heat outside that’s getting men hot under the collar, it seems members of the opposite sex can also have an effect on concentration behind the wheel, with 29 per cent of men admitting to being distracted by women’s summer attire. This is compared to just 3 per cent of women who admit to being distracted by men’s choice of summer clothing whilst behind the wheel.
Donna Dawson, behavioural psychologist, comments: “Qualitative research shows that men are far more easily distracted behind the wheel than women. Men are more visually orientated and so distractions such as billboards, or an attractive woman walking down the street, can quickly take their attention away from driving and the job in hand.
“Testosterone also plays a part as it makes men more prone to aggression, especially when frustrated by a confined space such as a car – and men are quicker than women to expose such irritability in hot weather.”
Jacky Brown at Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance commented: “In the age of air conditioning, you might expect all drivers to be equally chilled out in the summer but men are significantly more likely than women to claim during the summer months - often as a result of temperature rage or wandering eyes. We urge all motorists to keep their eyes on the road – regardless of outside distractions – and keep cool behind the wheel. A car is a dangerous weapon in the hands of a distracted driver and a momentary lapse can lead to a lifetime of regret if a serious accident occurs.”
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Notes to Editors:
(1) Sheilas’ Wheels used the independent online research company Opinium Research who surveyed 1,361 motorists from across the UK, aged 18 and over, between the 10th and 12th July 2010.
(2) Data analysed by looking at claims frequency (the proportion of claims relative to the proportion of drivers on the book) between June and August 2009 inclusive; males 13.8 per cent vs. females 11.8 per cent = 16.4 per cent more claims from male motorists. Note: Sheilas’ Wheels insures both men and women.
About Donna Dawson:
Donna Dawson is a psychologist specialising in Personality and Behaviour (BA Hons, MSc, completing PhD), who has gained her credentials at the prestigious Brandeis University (Massachusetts, USA), Manchester University (England), and the University of London. Dawson covers a wide variety of subject matter to explain how a person’s behaviour and choices reflect back on their personality, including money habits, food choices, colour preference, and other lifestyle choices. For more information, visit www.donnadawson.co.uk.