Postgraduate degrees may actually be bad for you

PETALING JAYA - The more educated a driver, the angrier the person is on the road. This is another interesting finding of the study conducted by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) on the anger levels of drivers on Malaysian roads.

The study showed that drivers with postgraduate degrees recorded the highest anger scores compared to others with lower levels of formal education.

"Those with postgraduate degrees registered a cumulative anger score of 45.27 while those with no formal education recorded 20.00," said Miros research fellow and psychologist Karen Goonting.

"There is a clear trend that the higher the educational attainment, the greater the amount of driver anger," she said, adding that this finding came as quite a surprise.

The study, conducted between 2009 and last year, measured the anger levels of 5,248 drivers (cars, buses and other vehicles except motorcycles) in more than 103 districts nationwide.

Goonting said the study also showed that those with the least driving experience felt angrier behind the wheel compared to experienced drivers.

"It is a world trend for male drivers aged between 16 and 25 to have a greater crash risk compared to other demographical groups.

"The risk for accidents is even higher if male drivers in this age group are with male peers in same the vehicle.

"One of the reasons for this could be due to the male peers egging each other on if they were provoked on the road," she said.

Goonting said the probability of accidents happening was higher on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for this age group as they were more likely to go out then.

"However, it is interesting to note that the risk of accidents among male drivers aged between 16 and 25 is lower when there is a female or elderly person in the car," she said.

It was revealed in the study that 18 per cent of the total of 13.3 million registered drivers in Malaysia were high-anger drivers, 39 per cent were moderate-anger and the remaining 43 per cent low-anger drivers.