'Carguments' on the rise: Number of family rows in cars increases during winter

Family relationships become particularly frosty at this time of year, according to a new study

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The Independent Online

Family disputes carry on long after we have left the house according to new research that found 'carguments' - or in-vehicle spats - are more common during the winter months.

Familial relationships become particularly frosty at this time of year with over half of motorists (54 per cent) reporting having arguments with their siblings or loved ones in the car, according to an RAC poll.

Fifteen per cent of the 1,300 drivers polled also said they argued more in the car that anywhere else, with one in five saying just the act of driving is enough to make them feel stressed or angry.

Thirteen per cent of all arguments centre around which route to take on a journey, with the majority of disputes occurring between couples (43 per cent), closely followed by fights between parents and children.

More worryingly, drivers reported arguments seriously impacting their ability to concentrate with one in five (21 per cent) having experienced a fear of crashing their vehicle as a result of being involved in a heated discussion.

Simon Williams, spokesman for RAC said: "Arguments can break out between family and friends at any time, but in the winter, where journeys can be delayed or take longer as a result of having to defrost windscreens or take alternative routes, it can be particularly stressful.

"Many 'carguments' actually begin well before getting into the car and just get worse as a result of being in a confined space together."

He advised: "If you can allow more time to get everything and everyone organised before your journey you will no doubt reduce the stress level which then eases the pressure on your drive."