Do you see your car as a vehicle for gossip? Recent research from Edinburgh University indicates just that- the car fosters a degree of intimacy between occupants leading them to feel comfortable having meaningful conversations.
The research was discussed on BBC Radio 4, where a female cab driver reinforced this message by saying that cab passengers feel at ease and often so much so that they feel they can offload their problems.
The idea of a captive audience is guaranteed in a car since there is nowhere to run- you’re sitting side by side with relatively few other distractions compared with the office or home.
With the absence of eavesdroppers and the exucse for no eye contact with your converser- since drivers should be keeping their eye on the road- people supposedly feel comfortable enough to air grievances and discuss deep feelings that in other situations, or rather locations, they do not feel able to express. How distracting having a deep and meaningful conversation is however, remains unsolved.