Research backed by Hyundai UK shows women are 12 percent angrier than men behind the wheel.

Women get more angry than men when driving. That’s the surprising conclusion of a study backed by Hyundai UK, which found that women are 12 percent angrier than men behind the wheel.

We tend to think of men being shorter tempered and more prone to road rage when they take to the road, but the study of 1,000 British drivers showed that not to be the case, women’s ancient “defense” instincts making them react more aggressively to perceived dangers.

The research found those instincts kicked in when women were undertaken, and shouted or honked at. Women also got 14 percent angrier than men when dealing with a back seat driver, and 13 percent angrier when other drivers failed to use their turn signals.

The study “sense tested” the subjects, gauging their emotional response to sound, smell, touch, and taste in various driving scenarios.

Study leader Patrick Fagan, a behavioral psychologist from Goldsmiths University London, explained: “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.”

The study also found the two dominant emotions drivers experience are happiness at the sense freedom it gives, and anger when drivers feel out of control.

51 percent of the subjects said that sense of freedom was the reason they love driving, while 19 percent said it was mobility and 10 percent said it was the independence driving allows.

Digging deeper, the researchers discovered that singing while driving makes 54 percent of drivers happy, and eight out of  ten habitually listen to music in the car. Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody rated as the most popular driving songs.

The data collected has been used to develop a Driver Emotion Test, which measures physical responses to various stimuli.

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