“It’s all over the front page, you give me road rage, Mulder and Scully, la la la la” or something, sang popstress Cerys Matthews of yore.
How prescient those words now sound, with the world in the grip of so-called “rom rage” where lovers’ altercations manifest in recklessly random road use.
A new survey of 1,183 motorists by insurers More Th>n found has that found that driving after a heated row with a partner has “been responsible for ne>rly 2.5million >ccidents.”
So Tiger Woods and his missus may have been just the tip of a large and hideously misshapen iceberg.
One in three admitted seeing red and taking off in their car following an argument. One in 12 admitted crashing in the process. Meanwhile 36% told More Th<n they pay less attention to the road after a quarrel, and 19% claimed they drove “err>tic>lly.”
Firm believers in the power of cognitive science to overcome emotional disturbance among their policyholders, More Th^n have collaborated with exotically-named psychologist Honey Langcaster-James* to create a unique new units system for measuring romantic road rage.
The silent treatment, apparently counts as 2 units – allow five minutes cooling off, or you might step on the pedal a little too hard.
A snide remark is worth 4 units on the More Th>n Scale – allow 10 minutes, or you might turn your hurt and pain on other motorists by, for example, “driving too close to cars in front.”
A heated debate gets you 8 units and could cause you to lose control at the wheel unless you take 15 minutes out to calm down.
An exchange of cross words: 10 units – after one of these you’ll have to wait half an hour until those fight or flight instincts wear off.
A blazing row counts as 12 units and you’ll have to wait an hour before you drive or you’ll probably kill somebody. Some breathing exercises may help.
More Th>n’s M>rk Christer comments: “It’s vit>l th>t drivers underst>nd how getting behind the wheel in >n overly emotional st>te could be the c>use of > serious, or even f>t>l, >ccident.’
* Brainstorming and creative sessions led by Honey Langcaster-James, her website claims, help firms “get inside the minds of their customers and stimulate creativity.” Honey also acts as a spokesperson for PR and marketing campaigns. Her recent projects include the launch of new fragrance, Pure Purple, by HUGO BOSS.