Study finds road rage worse for women, younger adults

If you’re female, young or both you might want to take a chill pill the next time you get behind the wheel.

A survey looking at the hazards of commuting to work sponsored by and conducted by Harris Interactive found that women are more likely to experience road rage than men, while younger adults are much more apt to steam up a car than their older counterparts.

Of the 3,892 employed adults surveyed, 83 percent of which drive to work, 61 percent of female respondents said that they had experienced road rage, compared to 56 percent of males. Although the spread isn’t very large, it is outside the survey’s margin for error.

Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow suggests that a possible reason for the split between the sexes is that “women may be less in touch overtly with their aggression and, therefore, more vulnerable to it being tapped by circumstances on the road.” He adds that the feeling of anonymity people get behind the wheel may lead them to lower their inhibitions and allow them to stray from their otherwise polite or nurturing nature.

On a gender neutral basis, 68 percent of adults age 25-34 admit having incidents of rage, while ohly 47 percent of those over 55 years old agreed, making them the mellowest group in the study.

Overall, longer commutes correlated with higher stress levels, but even 37 percent of workers with commutes of less than five minutes let it get the best of them now and then, while that number rises to 54 percent for commutes up to 10 minutes. Vice President of Human Resources Rosemary Haefner advises that planning ahead and making proactive changes to your schedule can help reduce stress on the road, including switching to public transportation to avoid running late.

In any event, you might be able to breathe a small sight of relief for the next couple of weeks. Although 10 percent of those surveyed said their road rage increased in the summer, 17 percent think it gets better.