New research claims that female motorists are calmer, less distracted and safer on the roads during the summer months than men, who appear to suffer more from both hot tempers and heated libidos when the temperatures soar, according to British auto insurer Sheilas’ Wheels.
In the Sheilas’ Wheels car insurance "intemperate temperatures" poll, 21 percent of the male motoring population admitted to being more prone to road rage and aggressive driving behavior in the summer. This is backed by the company’s in-house claims data, which reveals that last year men made 16.4 percent more claims during the summer period than women.
The insurer’s research found that 25 percent of men surveyed claim to have had at least one summertime crash or near-miss in the last five years, compared to just 17 percent of women. Hot weather is cited as a main catalyst, with 45 percent of men admitting that they feel the effects of the sun or soaring temperatures while behind the wheel.
However, it’s not just the heat outside that’s getting men hot under the collar, according to the insurer: It seems members of the opposite sex can also have an effect on concentration behind the wheel, with 29 percent of men admitting to being distracted by women’s summer attire. This is compared to just 3 percent of women who admit to being distracted by men’s choice of summer clothing while behind the wheel.
Donna Dawson, behavioral psychologist, said, "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."
Sheilas’ Wheels spokesperson Jacky Brown added, "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."