Impulsive people likelier to be aggressive drivers

Washington: A new study has examined that people with impulsive, angry personality traits run a higher risk of engaging in aggressive driving behavior than people without those characteristics.

The study suggested that drivers, who are readily angered by slower drivers, detours and similar traffic disruptions could be taught to become more aware of their responses and modify them to reduce accident risks, according to the authors.

For the new study, a total of 268 male and 281 female fully licensed drivers between the ages of 18 and 75 years voluntarily completed an online questionnaire where the questionnaire was based on well-established systems for measuring traits, such as the Driving Anger Expression Inventory and the Road Rage Questionnaire, which include questions about shouting or swearing at another driver, threatening to hurt another driver, intentionally damaging another vehicle and intentionally hurting another driver.

The authors state that their study’s aim was to test a proposed model of driver crash-related behaviors and compare how the model fit with data for drivers in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. According to the model, the personality traits of boredom proneness, impulsiveness and sensation seeking, coupled with driving anger, would predict aggressive driving. Such driving would, in turn, “be a reliable contributor toward crash-related conditions, including near-misses, slips of attention (loss of control of the vehicle and loss of concentration) and moving violations”.

The study confirmed the model, with anger and impulsivity being significant predictors of aggressive expression and this in turn predicting subsequent crash-related behavior.

The study appeared in the online version of Risk Analysis, a publication of the Society for Risk Analysis. 


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