Karma plays a part

behind the wheel

Angry woman driver, road rage

IS karma a factor in modern motoring?

Research released recently reveals that almost three quarters (70 per cent) of UK drivers consider their belief in karma to play a key role in behaviour on the road, with 45 per cent of those who have had their car damaged left wondering "what did I do to deserve this?"

Car insurance provider Direct Line conducted research into the behaviour of UK drivers and their views on how a belief in karma affects how they treat others on the road, with 86 per cent claiming to be considerate drivers most of the time, in the hope that this will in turn bring about good luck.

Wales is home to the UK's most considerate drivers, as 41 per cent of drivers there say they are respectful to others on the roads, compared to 19 per cent in Northern Ireland.

It appears that our behaviour behind the wheel is motivated by a strong belief in karma, with younger drivers more inclined to believe in the principle; 78 per cent of those aged 18-34 believe they reap what they sow, versus 63 per cent of those aged over 55 years old.

When faced with an altercation on the road or damage caused to their car, women are likely to break the chain and become more determined to be considerate to others when a fellow driver has been inconsiderate to them (47 per cent). Men on the other hand are more likely to pass the bad karma on (20 per cent vs 16 per cent of women).

Almost three in five drivers (58 per cent) who believe in karma named tailgating as their main cause of bad karma on the roads, followed by other drivers using a handheld device at the wheel (53 per cent) and cutting someone up (48 per cent).

Speaking on behalf of Direct Line, psychologist Dr Gary Woodcommented: "What happens to us on the road can have a knock-on effect. A bit of courtesy from another driver can make our day. It's more likely we'll pay it forward and feel good ourselves in turn.

"It's a win-win. Karma isn't about fate - the word just means 'action'; we're not at the mercy of the road and can all make a small impact on the stress of motoring. It's within our control to break the chain or pass it on and something we can extend to all aspects of our lives."

According to the research, the most common type of damage experienced by drivers is having their car scratched, which happens to a regular driver 1.5 times on average. This is followed by having someone open their door onto your car (1.4 times) and having your car dented (1.3 times).

The study emerges following the brand's launch of its "Good Carma" campaign, fronted by Dr Wood.

The campaign is part of Direct Line's new commitment to resetting balance in the motoring world by allowing their customers to retain their No Claim Discount (NCD) if their car is damaged in certain scenarios through no fault of their own.

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