London There she was, stuck in a jam, behind the wheel of her Mini-Cooper, oblivious to the pain of sitting still for three minutes. She was gently rolling her head back and forwards, waving her hands as if conducting an orchestra; a mood hardly synonymous with driving in congested London. I've seen one person knitting in a jam, others eating muesli, using spoon and cereal bowl. Others are reading the paper or completing word puzzles. There's rarely a journey now in a black cab in which the cabbie is not jabbering to a mate on his hands-free mobile. Such things are common, says Iain MacRury, lecturer in psycho-social studies at the University of East London. A recent research paper, 'The Secret Life of Cars', sponsored by BMW, disputes the common stereotype of a stressed-out, angry, impatient London driver. Dr MacRury's research reveals a vast chunk of London drivers are actually finding joy in the jams, refusing to get frustrated by the constant queues and hold-ups by putting the time spent to good use. 'Our key finding was that the all-encompassing experience of driving is being made more comfortable, a more pleasant experience, mostly by advances in technology,' he said. More comfortable seats, CD players, cup-holders, satellite navigation, were all making the ordeal less stressful. Drivers, he said, listened to audio books, learned languages on CDs and even sang. Even the mobile phone, the hands-free variety, is improving life behind the wheel, connecting drivers with the outside world - work or their families. Cupholders are particularly good, says Dr MacRury. If you have made some home-made coffee in a flask or some soup, 'drivers often feel like they haven't left home'. But singing. Shouldn't that be done in the shower? 'People sing in their cars, mainly during the morning, gearing up for the working day ahead. At night, after work, they are thinking about the day. The journey is important for people to unwind.' Dr MacRury noticed couples would commute together, using the journey to plot holidays, purchases, even argue, because they can do this without any interference or embarrassment. 'People spend a lot of time in their cars, and equip themselves for the ordeal. They use their time wisely.' What the team also found was how important inter-car communication was to drivers. 'There is anger, usually when drivers behave differently to how you would expect. But ... there's a lot of co-operation that does not get recognised,' he said. 'When you let someone out, and they thank you with a double wink of the indicators, that makes people feel good. It reconfirms their own ideals, but we forget this and focus on the negative.' Such as road rage? 'Road rage is rare, very rare. The normal journey is one of co-operation and collaboration.' Londoners, he said, are particularly adept at hand gestures and body language which allows them to ease out of junctions and make room for others; a camaraderie that makes Londoners Britain's most polite motorists. Apparently one in five Scots would brand other drivers idiots, compared to just one in eight Londoners. The study concluded that there was a sort of motoring karma at work - or 'carma', as the media have dubbed it. That if you let someone out, then someone will let you out later on.