An extensive research study on how anger and aggression affects driving concluded that risky behavior is a significant predictor of traffic accidents. Spanish university professor and author of the study, David Herrero, found that those who take more risks throughout their lives reflect that behavior behind the wheel. People with risky behavior are more likely to cause or be involved in a car accident. Knowing this important indicator may be the key to preventing dangerous and even fatal “road rage” accidents.
Risky Behavior Behind the Wheel
Traffic accidents are primarily caused by three factors: vehicle malfunction, roadway hazards, and human error. Human error is at fault for 94 percent of all car accidents. David Herrero dug into the human error factor during his eight-year study. Prior to his research, a link between risky behavior and dangerous driving had never been studied on a cognitive level.
Herrero interviewed more than 400 men and women who drove at least once a week. Three separate variables were investigated: aggressive thoughts, aggressive behavior, and risky behavior. Drivers answered questions designed to measure aggressive thoughts, risky behavior, and how prone they were to accidents. They completed a driving survey and the Driver’s Angry Thoughts Questionnaire. Difference in attitudes and behaviors between the sexes and age groups were also analyzed.
According to Herrero’s data, men and women have the same amount of aggressive thoughts and there are no real differences in how the sexes experience and express anger. Younger drivers are most likely to feel anger and express it aggressively. All three factors studied prove to be related as aggressive thoughts often trigger aggressive behavior, which can lead to risky behavior. The study proved that risky behavior is the most accurate predictor of traffic accidents.
Using Research to Prevent Accidents
Herrero believes the study’s findings can be helpful in not only preventing car accidents, but also in the general field of clinical psychology. Linking aggressive drivers to risk-taking behavior allows researchers to work backwards and to identify people more likely to make dangerous choices in all areas of their lives. Helping people to identify and respond to aggressive thoughts and feelings in healthy ways will undoubtedly make them safer drivers.
Chester County Car Accident Lawyers McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Represent Victims of Road Rage Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by an aggressive driver, contact a Chester County car accident lawyer at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Schedule a consultation by calling 215-569-8488 or complete our online form.