Do you swear behind the wheel?
Let’s face it; we all like a good swear when something displeases us. Anyone who doesn’t is either extremely disciplined or a f . . . ing liar.
A psychology study from 2009 that analysed recorded conversations revealed that an average of roughly 80 to 90 words that a person spoke in a day (0.5 to 0.7 per cent) were swear words, with usage varying from 0 to 3.4 per cent.
By way of comparison, firstperson plural pronouns such as ‘‘we’’, ‘‘us’’ and ‘‘our’’ make up just 1 per cent of spoken words. So swearing is up there.
And it has to be said that we Kiwis are particularly good at it. In fact, in 2013, review website Reevoo revealed that shoppers from New Zealand, Romania and Switzerland had the foulest mouths (well, keyboards) when it came to rating products online. Although, to be fair the website did consider ‘‘crap’’ to be a swear word, as opposed to a word we in New Zealand use to describe the weather.
But it seems that when it comes to swearing behind the wheel, the Brits may well give us a run for our money.
Researchers polled 2000 drivers in the UK on behalf of Hyundai (yes, really) and found that they typically swear 41 times during every 100 miles (161km) travelled, which means turning the air blue once every 4km or so.
The typical UK motorist commutes 600km to and from work during an average month and in the process they will let rip with a few choice words 152 times on average.
During a month of school runs, where 103km is covered on average, they’ll typically use a naughty word 26 times.
The study was commissioned by Hyundai UK as light-hearted part of its ‘‘Clean Driving Month’’ that calls on drivers to ‘‘drive a little bit cleaner’’, not just in their driving and fuel economy, but also their attitude and language as it turns out.
The researchers found that an impressive nine in 10 UK adults admit to swearing when behind the wheel, however, parents are the most controlled, with 61 per cent saying they don’t swear when children are in the vehicle. Four in 10 motorists also said that driving is when they tend to swear most often.
But, despite the high rate of swearing, 46 per cent don’t think they curse too much when behind the wheel, while 39 per cent have sworn while driving and felt bad about it later on.
Getting cut up, those who park over two spaces and seeing someone text while driving are among the most common catalysts for curse words.
But what about us Kiwis? Do we get more sweary behind the wheel? Take our poll and let us know.
The following are, in order, the 30 things most likely to trigger a sweary tirade among British drivers. Someone cutting you up When someone nearly changes lanes into you
When you see someone texting and driving
When someone doesn’t use their indicator
A pedestrian stepping into the road without looking
When someone leaves their high beams on
Someone driving too slowly in front of you
When people park over two spaces
When someone doesn’t thank you for waiting for them
When someone stays in the middle lane of the motorway Getting stuck behind a tractor When someone beeps at you When a cyclist runs a red light When a truck slowly overtakes another one, causing a tailback
When you get flashed by a speed camera When you’re stuck in traffic Getting stuck behind a cyclist Running late Being stuck in a traffic jam When someone undertakes you on the motorway Someone speeding past you Getting stuck behind a truck When someone takes too long to park
When people ‘‘rubberneck’’ at traffic accidents
One of your passengers ‘‘backseat driving’’ Getting stuck behind a bus Getting stuck behind a milk float Hitting a red light Having to slow down for speed bumps
Being held up by an accident up ahead
Like a good swear behind the wheel of you car? Well, it turns out you are not alone. Not at all . . .