Driver irritation and aggressive behaviour

Publisher's full text

A sample of 98 drivers responded to a Swedish version of the UK Driving Anger Scale [UK DAS; [Lajunen, T., Parker, D., Stradling, S.G., 1998. Dimensions of driver anger, aggressive and highway code violations and their mediation by safety orientation in UK drivers. Transport. Res. Part F 1, 107–121]. The results indicated that the Swedish version, like the British original, measures three sources of driver irritation: “progress impeded”, “reckless driving”, and “direct hostility”. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the relationships between the three sources of self-reported driver irritation, aggressive actions, speed, sex, age, and annual mileage. The models suggested a positive relationship between the amount of driver irritation and frequency of aggressive actions for all three sources of irritation. Female drivers tended to become more irritated than male drivers, while the male drivers tended to act aggressively more often. Surprisingly, drivers who reported that they enjoy fast speeds did not become more irritated than slower drivers when obstructed. The important conclusions are that experienced irritation often leads to openly aggressively actions, and that expression of aggressive behaviours may be a cause of other drivers’ feeling of irritation.

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