Posted in: Safety,
by Gregg Laskoski on Feb 25, 2013 02:00 PM
In the scholarly journal 'Accident Analysis and Prevention' a study completed at Canada's Center for Addiciton and Mental Health (CAHM) reports that there's one kind of bad driving behavior that makes our blood boil the most -- and that's when aggressive drivers are cutting in front of us and weaving.
Driver aggression is a major safety concern and researchers estimate this behavior is a factor in nearly half of all motor vehicle collisions.
And researchers say the worst thing we can do is retaliate... to teach the other guy a lesson. You wouldn't do that, would you?
CAMH researcher Dr. Christine Wickens reviewed thousands of entries posted on RoadRagers.com, a website that invites drivers to submit complaints about unsafe and improper driving.
"These websites can tell us more about what people are doing out there in the real world," she explained.
Dr. Wickens and her team examined 5,000 entries over an eight year period. The team sorted the complaints -- which consisted mostly of reports on driving in Canada and the U.S. -- into various categories, including: speeding/racing, erratic/improper braking and blocking.
The most common complaints involved cutting in and weaving (54 per cent of all complaints), speeding (29 per cent) and hostile displays (25 per cent).
The research team also discussed how slighted drivers might feel compelled to retaliate or 'teach other drivers a lesson.' In some extreme cases, one reckless action can escalate into a hostile situation between multiple drivers.
The next step in the research will be to examine how slighted drivers perceive the offensive actions of another motorist: Is the other driver in a rush, negligent, or deliberately aggressive? How do these different interpretations affect how we respond?
What should we do when we encounter such poor drivers?
"Remind yourself to take a deep breath, stay calm, and do whatever it takes to bring your anger down," she said.
Good advice! Let's not make a bad situation worse.