London, Apr 21 (UNI) A psychologist has claimed that men are more aggressive than women while driving because deep down they are still cavemen.
The way in which men and women drive is a legacy of their primitive past, said Professor Geoffrey Beattie, head of Psychological Sciences at the Manchester University.
The brain has failed to evolve from the time of aggressive hunter-gatherers who thought only of finding food and mating, he added.
This ''Fred Flintstone'' impulse explains why men commit the vast majority of traffic offences including speeding, dangerous driving and drink-driving and account for 94 per cent of prosecutions resulting from road casualties, Prof Beattie explained.
The resident psychologist on American reality show Big Brother, examined the effect of evolution on differences in driving behaviour between men and women.
He concluded that young men in particular still exhibit the risk-taking instincts of cavemen when driving in modern-day Britain.
''Our 21st Century skulls contain essentially stone-age brains,'' he said in a report for the Commons Transport Committee.
''The human brain evolved to meet the requirements of the huntergatherer that existed for 99 per cent of our evolution as a species,'' the professor informed.
''This has a very significant impact on driving by encouraging more competitive-and hostile behaviour with consequent higher probabilities of having an accident,'' the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
The report said men were more competitive and likely to react aggressively on instinct to perceived invasions of their personal space by other drivers, particularly when tailgated or cut up when overtaken.
Women, on the other hand, were better able to empathise and see others' point of view so they were less likely to respond to hostility.
Teenage male drivers were five times more likely to crash than those aged 30 or over and the fatal accident rate of men in their twenties was 535 per cent higher than women of the same age, the report found.
Professor Beattie advised that male drivers should be trained to keep their aggression in check. ''Education is the key to changing risky behaviour,'' he said.
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