A new study from insurance firm Direct Line has revealed that motorists are quite literally cursing their luck on the roads, with 43 per cent of drivers participating in the study swearing when behind the wheel.
They may not even be aware of the language they are using, as only 22 per cent of drivers actually admit to swearing more when driving than they do normally.
Using revolutionary eye tracking technology to monitor real driver behaviour, the study found that nearly half (48 per cent) of the women used a profanity whilst driving, compared to 40 per cent of men.
The research reveals that satellite navigation systems frustrate and irritate drivers with over half (55 per cent) of those who used a device swearing whilst on the road. In contrast, less than a third (31 per cent) of drivers without a sat nav swore when behind the wheel.
The study revealed the younger generation are far more likely to use expletives than the older generation. Over half (58 per cent) of people aged 20 to 29 participating in the study swore when behind the wheel, compared to just 15 per cent of those aged 40 to49.
Simon Henrick of Direct Line said: “People often use bad language during times of stress and many normally mild mannered people use expletives to express their irritation when behind the wheel. The concern is that the use of aggressive language and offensive gestures towards other motorists can escalate an already stressful situation and it can also quite feel intimidating for passengers in the vehicle.”
More than one-in-three (34 per cent) women swear when ‘cut up’ by another driver, compared to just over a quarter (28 per cent) of men.
It would appear the only motoring occurrence that significantly grinds the gears of men more than their female counterparts is when someone uses the overtaking lane when not overtaking, with more than double the amount of men (15 per cent) than women (seven per cent) admitting this makes them use foul language.
Direct Line’s Stress Relieving Tips
Plan your journey in advance: Knowing where you’re meant to be going before you set off will limit the chances of mistake or being late and reduce stress
Find your happy place: Back strain or neck pain from driving is quite common, and can certainly cause much greater stress levels. Try changing your driving position, as just the smallest change can help significantly
Rise above it: There are some reckless, aggressive drivers who will try to wind you up by speeding past, cutting you up or undertaking. Try to avoid confrontation and ignore their antics in order to stay as relaxed and safe as possible
Keep it simple: Minimise the amount of distractions and gadgets in your car – from iPods and chargers to food and drink. Driving already involves multitasking so don’t make it any harder than it needs to be