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Monday, June 16, 2008

Aggressive Drivers and Their Stickers

In my new quest to post science news that makes me say, "Hmmm... interesting," I bring you the story of researchers who really were just sitting at that green light to piss you off, and to record how long it took to piss you off.

3 Comments:

  • First off, cool study. Second though, I don't know if it was the interpretation of the journalist or the researcher, but it seems inaccurate to use the label 'road rage' in this context. They timed how long someone would wait before using their horn to let the car ahead of them know that the light had changed. To me this constitutes 'road nudge' more than 'road rage'.

    Moreover, the study measured how long the driver would wait before honking, not whether they honk or not. A different spin on the same data could say that drivers with stickers on their cars are more aware of their surroundings, or that they're more impatient. Neither of these things by their nature equate to a propensity for rage.

    Still an interesting study, and one I'm glad I didn't participate in (at least I think I didn't).

    By Blogger Kevin Fox, at 10:31 AM  

  • I am all over the "you're not moving at a green light" honk. Allllll over. You don't immediately ease off that brake pedal and you're getting a brief little trumpet. This comes from this one light on my way to work which lets two cars through per green. And, apparently, my bumper sticker.

    By Blogger MacKenzie, at 12:09 PM  

  • Here's the study (abstract only. $39 to read the whole thing). The title is "Territorial Markings as a Predictor of Driver Aggression and Road Rage 1" and the abstract doesn't differentiate alerting the driver from 'expressing anger'. It says"Mere presence of a territory marker predicts increased use of the vehicle to express anger and decreased use of adaptive/constructive expressions." I'd love to know if this means they break down honking actions into 'creative messages' and 'expressions of anger'.

    For that matter, I'd love to see a geographic breakdown.

    By Blogger Kevin Fox, at 12:12 PM  

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