Male drives don’t like crit­i­cism

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

MU­NICH — Male driv­ers do not take kindly to crit­i­cism from front or back-seat pas­sen­gers, ac­cord­ing to a traf­fic psy­chol­o­gist with Ger­many’s big­gest car club, the ADAC, who has been study­ing anger at the wheel.

Ac­cord­ing to Ul­rich Chiellino, the phe­nom­e­non has a lot to do with the fact that driv­ing a car is of­ten seen as a spe­cial­ity of male­ness.

Men are au­to­mat­i­cally ex­pected to show a high level of com­pe­tence in driv­ing, es­pe­cially in car-mad Ger­many, de­spite stud­ies which show that woman are equally adept.

A man who as­sumes he is ca­pa­ble of driv­ing well of­ten takes re­marks about his skills, es­pe­cially by women, as a per­sonal af­front.

“When a woman tells her hus­band to ‘slow down a lit­tle’ or says ‘don’t drive so close to that car in front,’ men tend to in­ter­pret this as mean­ing that they are not in con­trol,” said Chiellino, bas­ing his find­ings on Ger­man driv­ers, who of­ten take ex­cep­tion to such re­marks.

Rows over driv­ing abil­ity es­ca­late so quickly be­cause of the com­plex­ity of mod­ern driv­ing and the amount of po­ten­tial mis­takes that can be made, said the ex­pert.

The closed-in na­ture of driv­ing also pre­vents the re­lease of pent-up emo­tions and fu­els ag­i­ta­tion. Driv­ers usu­ally can­not stop, get out and vent their emo­tions. When they do so, it can lead to men­ac­ing road-rage sit­u­a­tions.

Ar­gu­ments over nav­i­ga­tion dur­ing a jour­ney re­volve around who is sup­posed to be in charge of the ve­hi­cle – re­gard­less of whether the sat-nav is run­ning.

“Men who have taken a wrong turn do not like ad­mit­ting they have made a mis­take and they tend to in­sist on be­ing in the right,” said the ex­pert.

Men and women who fre­quently travel as pas­sen­gers are less likely to voice crit­i­cism or THE key to avoid­ing a break­down is good and reg­u­lar main­te­nance to­gether with an un­der­stand­ing of what’s most likely to go wrong.

The num­ber of mod­els and com­plex­ity of mod­ern cars mean that AA pa­trols are called on to deal with thou­sands of dif­fer­ent faults. These are the most com­mon though and have been for many years.

Many can be fixed at the road­side, but most can be avoided with are more tact­ful when they do so, said Chiellino.

One of the best ways to defuse a tense driv­ing sit­u­a­tion is a care­ful choice of words. Pas­sen­gers should avoid blunt ac­cu­sa­tions such as “You’re a re­ally bad driver” and opt in­stead

the cor­rect pre­ven­ta­tive care.

Flat or faulty bat­tery Most com­mon prob­lems are caused by ter­mi­nals and clamp con­nec­tions or by a loss of volt­age, of­ten caused by con­stant use on short jour­neys with­out reg­u­lar recharg­ing.

At ev­ery ser­vice, check that ter­mi­nals have been cleaned and pro­tected from cor­ro­sion with a layer of petroleum jelly or grease. for re­marks such as “I don’t feel com­fort­able when you drive this fast” or “We’re not in a hurry, are we?”

It is eas­ier for a driver to re­act con­struc­tively to such com­ments that are phrased diplo­mat­i­cally. — DPA Clamps and con­nec­tions must be se­cure.

If you sel­dom make a long jour­ney, a fort­nightly overnight charge pro­longs bat­tery life.

Mod­ern main­te­nance-free bat­ter­ies need no top-up.

Lost keys Most mod­ern cars have a ‘transpon­der’ key com­bin­ing a con­ven­tional me­chan­i­cal key with an en­crypted elec­tronic chip to pre­vent


If you lose the key, re­cov­ery to an au­tho­rised dealer may be the only an­swer.

Even a dealer may take sev­eral days to ob­tain a re­place­ment, so al­ways carry a spare set of keys.

Flat/dam­aged wheels

Check the hand­book and ad­just pres­sures as re­quired to suit dif­fer­ent speeds and loads.

Kerb im­pact can dam­age side­walls and, pos­si­bly wheel rims. Both can re­sult in slow leaks. Con­sult a spe­cial­ist tyre dealer if any dam­age is vis­i­ble.

When check­ing tread depth, look for un­even tyre wear – the wheels may be mis­aligned.

Look at the spare tyre. A worn or flat spare won’t be of use in an emer­gency.

Check that the jack and wheel­re­moval tools are in good con­di­tion and that the key or re­moval tool for lock­ing wheel nuts is ac­ces­si­ble.



Al­ter­na­tor faults Per­sis­tent bat­tery prob­lems and dim head­lights when the en­gine is idling can in­di­cate al­ter­na­tor/gen­er­a­tor faults.

Belts driv­ing the al­ter­na­tor may also op­er­ate the ra­di­a­tor fan and wa­ter pump. A red ig­ni­tion warn­ing light plus a rapid rise in en­gine tem­per­a­ture could in­di­cate a bro­ken belt. Stop straight away.

Starter mo­tor Though usu­ally ro­bust, starter mo­tors can fail. Good, reg­u­lar garage main­te­nance should high­light po­ten­tial faults.

Fuel prob­lems Empty fuel tanks cost a lot of time and in­con­ve­nience. Fill up at the start of your jour­ney and well be­fore the low-fuel warn­ing light comes on.

Clutch ca­bles Clutch ca­bles are un­der high stress, and abra­sion can weaken the wire strands un­til they break. Re­place­ment at the first signs of wear is the best an­swer.

High-ten­sion (HT) leads and their con­nec­tions can de­te­ri­o­rate with age. Wa­ter and dirt en­ter cracks in the in­su­la­tion, re­duc­ing ig­ni­tion volt­age. —

THE Lexus Ac­tive Safety Re­search Ve­hi­cle is a first step to­wards teach­ing cars to un­der­stand what they see.

Com­mon Break­down Causes to Watch Out For.

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