Male drives don’t like criticism
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.
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. — theaa.com
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