News

Battle of the Sexes: Who Handles Stress Better in Traffic?

Women are known to be more emotional by nature, which might lead one to believe they would stress a lot more when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but a study conducted in the United Kingdom proves the latter.

A team of psychologists for TomTom tested volunteers by measuring stress chemicals found in their saliva while they were stuck in a traffic jam. Findings were surprising, as men’s stress levels surged seven times higher than a woman’s: levels for women increased by 8.7 percent, for men they shot up to a startling 60 percent.

So, why exactly did women score better than men? ‘Fight or flight,’ a normal reaction occurring in men,   causes them to either confront a problem or walk away. Both are difficult to do when stuck behind the wheel in gridlock, leaving them no choice but to sit and fume. On the other side of the spectrum, women relieve stress by using methods as simple as singing to the radio.

More than half of all adults commute, leaving them vulnerable to stress-related health problems. Health psychologist David Moxon said stress can also make commuters drive more erratically and potentially more dangerously. A global survey of 10,000 drivers for TomTom showed 72 per cent drove on a daily basis and 86 per cent felt traffic had a negative impact on their lives.

TomTom is using the staggering number of angry drivers behind the wheel to promote its new HD Traffic device.  U.K. commuters can trade in their old navigation systems (any brand) and get a TomTom HD Traffic, which displays traffic trouble spots and provides quicker alternative routes, if available. The program is currently not available in the U.S., but TomTom might launch the program in the States considering it already offers similar trade-in programs. Although traffic jams are sometimes inevitable, devices like TomTom’s may be able to provide some shortcuts and peace of mind.

Is traffic something that you deal with on a daily basis? How do you cope with it?

Source: TomTom UK

Comments