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Shouting and Cursing while Driving: Frequency, Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment



Traffic accidents are a major cause of death and injury in the world. Generally speaking about aggression, evidence has shown that drivers who usually express aggressive behaviors more frequently tend, at the same time, to have higher rates of road crashes or traffic incidents. Furthermore, in most cases, the situations in which aggressive behaviors appear are typical of normal current traffic conditions, turning this behavior into something very common, and into a very serious road safety issue. This has also been related with the clear lack of Road Safety Education that is evident in most of the countries. The aim of this study was to describe the factors and perceptions related to the aggressive behavior of verbally insulting and shouting while driving. In this study, an extensive list of behaviors, that experts more or less unanimously consider as aggressive driving, was described; one of them was labeled shouting and insulting. The sample was obtained from a random sampling proportional to and representative of the segments of the population by age, sex, region and size of the municipality. The survey was aimed at Spanish drivers over 14 years. The starting sample size was 1,100 surveys. As a result, shouting and insulting is not considered such a dangerous offense as it is driving under the influence of alcohol, but we cannot deny that there are many types of bad or risky maneuvers that could be banned from a legal point of view. The degree of social tolerance towards such behavior is variable. Some individuals merely ignore them, accepting them as something inevitable. Multiple types of risky maneuvers and deliberated misbehaviors, which are (formally and informally) already forbidden from a legal point of view, make other drivers and pedestrians uncomfortable and restrict their movements, creating violent, stressful and risky situations, and they are still performed by drivers. In short, aggression in driving is one of them. As a conclusion, there is a high prevalence of this phenomenon among Spanish drivers. Furthermore, most of the aggressive expressions related to shouting and cursing on the road are preceded by subjective factors such as stress, fatigue and personality traits, which may be intervened through the strengthening of road safety education and road safety campaigns
Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 2017, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1-7
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Shouting and Cursing while Driving: Frequency,
Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment
Francisco Alonso1,*, Cristina Esteban1, Andrea Serge1, Mª Luisa Ballestar2
1DATS (Development and Advising in Traffic Safety) Research Group, INTRAS (University Research Institute on Traffic and Road
Safety), University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
2METRAS (Measurement, Evaluation, Analysis, and Data Processing of Traffic Accidents and Road Safety) Research Group, INTRAS
(University Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety), University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
*Corresponding author:
Abstract Traffic accidents are a major cause of death and injury in the world. Generally speaking about
aggression, evidence has shown that drivers who usually express aggressive behaviors more frequently tend, at the
same time, to have higher rates of road crashes or traffic incidents. Furthermore, in most cases, the situations in
which aggressive behaviors appear are typical of normal current traffic conditions, turning this behavior into
something very common, and into a very serious road safety issue. This has also been related with the clear lack of
Road Safety Education that is evident in most of the countries. The aim of this study was to describe the factors and
perceptions related to the aggressive behavior of verbally insulting and shouting while driving. In this study, an
extensive list of behaviors, that experts more or less unanimously consider as aggressive driving, was described; one
of them was labeled shouting and insulting. The sample was obtained from a random sampling proportional to and
representative of the segments of the population by age, sex, region and size of the municipality. The survey was
aimed at Spanish drivers over 14 years. The starting sample size was 1,100 surveys. As a result, shouting and
insulting is not considered such a dangerous offense as it is driving under the influence of alcohol, but we cannot
deny that there are many types of bad or risky maneuvers that could be banned from a legal point of view. The
degree of social tolerance towards such behavior is variable. Some individuals merely ignore them, accepting them
as something inevitable. Multiple types of risky maneuvers and deliberated misbehaviors, which are (formally and
informally) already forbidden from a legal point of view, make other drivers and pedestrians uncomfortable and
restrict their movements, creating violent, stressful and risky situations, and they are still performed by drivers. In
short, aggression in driving is one of them. As a conclusion, there is a high prevalence of this phenomenon among
Spanish drivers. Furthermore, most of the aggressive expressions related to shouting and cursing on the road are
preceded by subjective factors such as stress, fatigue and personality traits, which may be intervened through the
strengthening of road safety education and road safety campaigns.
Keywords: smoking, driving, road safety, infraction, normative, driving misbehaviors
Cite This Article: Francisco Alonso, Cristina Esteban, Andrea Serge, and Mª Luisa Ballestar, Shouting and
Cursing while Driving: Frequency, Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment.” Journal of Sociology and
Anthropology, vol. 1, no. 1 (2017): 1-7. doi: 10.12691/jsa-1-1-1.
1. Introduction
Traffic accidents represent a major cause of death and
injury in the world. According to the World Health
Organization, 1.23 million people worldwide die each
year because of a traffic accident [1,2]. Generally
speaking about aggression, we could define this concept
as any behavior through which people try to harm or
inflict injury (physical, moral, psychological or social) to
another person or other people. In this regard, "aggressive
driving" is defined as the behavior of an angry or
impatient driver who intentionally endangers the life of
another driver, passenger or pedestrian, in response to an
argument, dispute or grievance in traffic. In most cases,
the situation in which aggressive behaviors appear are
typical of normal current traffic conditions, making this
behavior into something very common and a very serious
road safety issue [3,4,5]. It has been also related with the
clear lack of Road Safety Education that is evident in most
of the countries [6,7].
The causes of aggressive driving are very complex and
this may be due to multiple factors [8,9], on the other hand,
aggressive reactions are always preceded by an emotional
state, which may originate in people’s own personal
circumstances [10,11], or be triggered by the external
environment, or by the behaviors observed in other drivers
or pedestrians. A nervous or angry driver may be more
susceptible, have lower tolerance for frustration or be less
tolerant of the behavior of others [5,8]. Moreover, and as
any emotional reaction, aggressiveness is also modulated
by the subjective interpretation of the situation. For the
sake of simplicity, when explaining the origin of
aggressive behavior in general, and particularly those
manifested in driving, scientific studies have distinguished
2 Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
between internal causes specific to each individual and
their personal circumstances linked to internal and
external causes, from the subjective context as well as
from social circumstances [8,9,12].
Among the external causes there are several environmental
factors that in certain circumstances can contribute
to an aggressive reaction, or increase its probability of
occurrence [12]. Annoying physical conditions that
directly affect the comfort, and can negatively affect mood,
encouraging the emergence of aggressive behavior.
Among these factors it could be worth mentioning
elements such as noise and heat. In relation to the
temperature of the environment, for example, it has been
shown that the incidence of violent crime increases during
the summer months, so if the atmosphere is hot and humid,
the driver is more likely to get frustrated or angry, and
adopt aggressive behaviors. Some studies also show that
noise pollution can lead to aggressive reactions, especially
if the subject has no control over the size or duration
of the noise [13]. Another external condition that is
most often associated with aggressive driving is traffic
congestion, so characteristic of big cities. To these factors
we could add many others that have to do with one's own
driving situation and the stress generated by the urgency,
the frustration, or the actions of other drivers [14,15].
A number of aggressive behaviors of drivers, especially
young people, are rooted in the observation of violent
models in film and television. Just think of any of the
chase scenes or street racing, where cars are literally
shattered, or used violently, or employed as a hallmark of
an aggressive character. In real life, the everyday example
offered by many users of public roads is also influent,
especially when you consider that many of these
aggressive behaviors are never sanctioned [16,17].
If we find that a person shouts or insults, we may be
inclined to imitate such behavior in order to reach our
destination more quickly. In this sense, we might consider
aggressive driving as a form of self-behavior of our
culture, ingrained since childhood, first learned as a
passenger, observing older people, and later put into
practice and reinforced by the media. It must not be
forgotten that in our society there is a widespread
tendency to represent the vehicle as a private territory on
the road, a kind of home on wheels moving with oneself
and whose integrity must be maintained at all costs. In this
sense, it seems justifiable to point out that the aggressive
impulse may represent innate feelings of territorial rights,
serving as a basis for many dangerous and inconsiderate
behavior on the roads [18].
Although there is no single profile of the aggressive
driver, we know from the statistics that most aggressive
drivers are relatively young men, poorly educated, with
criminal records, histories of violence and problems with
alcohol and drugs. Most aggressive behaviors often occur
in drivers who are 18 to 26 years old, but we can also find
a good percentage of cases between 26 and 50 years, and
later in smaller proportion between 50 and 75 years [19].
Many of these individuals have recently had a strong
emotional setback, such as job loss, loss of a loved one, a
divorce or breakup, or have suffered an injury or accident.
Finally, numerous studies have found links between
aggression and the difficulties to contain the anger and
hostility toward others, and the tendency to take risks at
the wheel, committing offenses and getting involved in
traffic accidents. The more aggressiveness and hostility,
the higher the number of offenses and traffic accidentes,
the more the risk of subsequent recurrence increases
1.1. Study Framework
Law, and all its related aspects, plays an essential role
that comes from legal science. Moreover, law applies to
individuals and societies, so it has a lot to do with
sociology and psychology. Individuals and societies may
or may not know the laws, they may or may not accept
them, they may or may not share their principles, and they
may or may not obey them. In order for laws to be applied
and obeyed, different sciences must be involved when
developing them. In addition, the law is not the only thing
to take into account; rules make no sense unless there
are consequences when they are not obeyed. From
this approach, traffic laws have to be treated from a
comprehensive perspective.
Moreover, it is important to understand legislation and
everything it involves, and to regulate the drivers
behavior since reckless behavior not only affects the
driver him/herself but but also other people (drivers and
pedestrians on the road). Therefore, it means preserving
one’s life and the life of others. So, this is why the
framework of this article was a largescale project based on
“traffic laws and road safety” with the purpose of raising
people’s awareness regarding this matter [23,24]. This
global research on traffic laws and road safety used a
questionnaire made up of a set of items in different sections.
An important aspect of the questionnaire is the order of the
questions. The objective of these items was not to influence
the answers in a particular direction. First of all, the
questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic data
(such as age, gender, occupation, etc.).
In addition, other descriptive factors relevant to road
safety were also taken into account in order to classify
drivers: main motive of the journey, driving frequency,
professional drivers, driving experience, kilometers per
year, type of journey, most frequently used type of road,
and record of accidents and penalties.
There were also subsections used to collect information
related to the following areas: unsafe/risky behaviors
(speeding, inappropriate speed in specific situations, unsafe
following distance, shouting or verbally insulting while
driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving
without a seat belt, smoking while driving, driving without
insurance, driving without the required vehicle inspection).
It was also interesting to learn about the beliefs,
knowledge, and attitudes of participants towards the areas
of “legislation”, “penalties”, “law enforcement”, “law and
traffic laws”, and the “effectiveness of the measures to
prevent traffic crashes”. In this section of the
questionnaire, participants were asked to provide
information about aggressive behavior while driving:
reasons and frequency, risk of expressing driving anger,
severity of the penalty, estimated probability of penalty,
type of penalties, and penalties received (evaluation and
Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 3
1.2. Objectives
The aim of this study was to describe the factors and
perceptions related to the aggressive behavior of verbally
insulting and shouting while driving. So, this study aimed
at obtaining information about the views Spanish people
have on this conduct
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Participants
The sample was obtained from a simple random sample
(SRS) based on gender, age, habitat and the region. The
criteria for the distribution of the sample are: The election
of households in samples proportional to the universe by
Autonomous Community and habitat. For the election of
individuals: proportional to the population studied by age
group and sex.
The survey is aimed at drivers with driving license. The
proportion of subjects is a reflection of the census; it
includes drivers from 14 years to over 65 years. In terms
of age (as shown in Table 1), it can be clearly seen how
the percentage distribution is proportional to the general
census of drivers. So, the age group most represented is
the group between 30 and 44 years old (38.01%), and
people between 14 and 17 years are the least represented.
The sample size was 1,100 surveys and it consisted of
678 men (61.60%) and 422 women (38.40%), representing
a margin of error for the general information of ± 3 with a
confidence interval of 95% in the most unfavorable case
of p=q=50%, and a level of significance of 0.05. The
gender distribution is closely related to age, the older the
age, the more the proportion of women decreases. From
age 45, the percentage of women is reduced, as in the
driving population.
Table 1. Distribution of the number of drivers and sample based on
Age Census Distribution Sample
14-17 248.62 1,21 13
18-24 1.987.05 9,67 106
25-29 2.635.76 12,83 141
30-44 7.809.78 38,01 418
45-65 6.158.15 29,97 331
> 65 1.706.37 8,31 91
Total 20.545.73 100 1.100
2.2. Procedure and Design
This observational cross-sectional study, consisted in
the administration of a questionnaire, in which people
were questioned about their views on the behavior of
verbally insulting and shouting while driving.
The questionnaire includes the knowledge, attitudes and
behaviors of users regarding traffic and road safety. Its
comments refer to both assessment of current traffic rules
as assessment of the behavior on the road scenario. The
survey consists of a series of questions structured around a
few different sections which address the objectives
pursued in the investigation. The questionnaire was
applied through a semi-structured telephone interview
with a maximum duration of 20 minutes by staff of
EMER-GfK The staff responsible for conducting the
survey countries followed the instruction of the research
team. The average duration of the interview was 20 minutes,
with some variability due to individual differences
To achieve the proposed aims, the following variables
were taken into account:
Demographic variables: sociodemographic factors, as
age and education level.
Driving behavior: Subsequently, the drivers were asked
about their opinions on the following behaviors: “not
maintaining a safe distance”, “driving after drinking”,
“driving without insurance” and “driving without seat belt
in the rear seats and in the city”," shouting or verbally
insulting while driving".
Information on driving behavior: the information was
obtained from these variables: behavior frequency,
performance reasons, reasons why it is not done,
perception of the accident risk, and type of road.
With these variables and the previously described
demographic information, five questions were designed:
first of all, the frequency of “verbally shouting and
insulting” was evaluated. The response format ranged
from "never" to "almost always", in a Likert format.
The second question evaluated the reason by which the
behavior “Shouting and verbally insulting” was performed;
the response format was open, since the subject had to
provide reasons.
The third question assessed the reasons why the actions
of shouting and coursing are not performed. The response
format was open.
The fourth question evaluated the risk perceived by
the subjects in the behaviors of “speeding”, "driving at an
inappropriate speed", "not keeping the safe distance",
"shouting or verbally insulting while driving", "driving
after drinking an alcoholic beverage" and “driving without
seat belt in the rear seats and in the city”. The possible
answers for this question were presented in a scale from 0
to 10, where 0 means that the risk, as a cause of accident,
is zero and 10 is maximum.
The fifth question asked the participants to state on
which type of road they perceived the highest level of risk,
on a scale ranging from 0 to 10.
2.3. Data Processing
Once the data was obtained, the relevant statistical
analyses were carried out with the Statistical Package for
the Social Sciences (SPSS). For the comparison of mean
values, the One-way ANOVA test for the General Linear
Model (GLM) was conducted, followed by Bonferroni's
post-hoc test. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05.
2.4. Ethics
For this type of study, ethical approval and formal
consent are not required. The research type described in
the manuscript did not require the official intervention
of the Ethics Committee in Experimental Research,
(consultative and advisory body of the University of
4 Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
Valencia), as no personal data are used and the
participation was anonymous. However, the Research
Ethics Committee for Social Science in Health of the
University Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety
at the University of Valencia was consulted, certifying
that the research subject to analysis responds to the
general ethical principles, currently relevant to research in
Social Science, and issued a favorable opinion to carry out
our research in Spain.
3. Results
This study analyzed the results obtained in multiple
behaviors that occur in the field of driving and road safety.
As is shown in Figure 1, 26.4% of drivers recognize that
they shout or insult while driving; while 66.4% say they
have never or almost never performed this type of
behavior at the wheel (see Figure 1).
In addition, some reasons provided by the participants
for carrying out the studied behaviors are the following:
43.9% of drivers who recognize that they shout or insult
while driving do it in reaction to another driver, either
because the other driver does not meet their standards or
because they have to face a dangerous maneuver.
Approximately, 27% of respondents state that they
shout or insult while driving when other drivers cause a
risky or stressful situation. In fact, the remaining
percentage is relatively lower (see Figure 2).
On the other hand, 24.2% of people who drive
without shouting and insulting say it is their way of being,
that they are quiet, 17.3% think it is a waste of time
and about 15% believe it is a matter of habit and
Figure 1. Percentage distribution of drivers depending on the frequency of performing the behavior "shouting or insulting"
Figure 2. Percentage distribution of reported reasons given for the realization of behavior “shout or insult while driving".
2.2 5
Many times
Almost never
How often do drivers insult or shout?
13.6 13.6 12.6
4.8 3.2 2.7 1.3
Reaction to breakinf of
a rule
Reaction to dangerous
The other driver puts
me in danger
I do not realize
Irresponsability of
Everybody does it
Reasons to insult or shout
Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 5
Regarding factors that drivers usually associate with an
implied higher risk of accidents, on a scale from 0 to 10,
the most scored ones are alcohol and speed (see
Figure 3). In the case of driving after drinking any
alcoholic drinks, about 60% gives the maximum score
when assessing risk or danger of this behavior as a cause
of accident; while over 75% of drivers valued at 8 or more
the risk of accident by speeding. For what concerns the
behavior of not adjusting the speed to the condition of
traffic, road, weather etc, even though the scores are well
distributed, only 1,4% of the drivers think that it does
not imply any risk (giving scores below five -5- ). As we
have seen, not maintaining a safe distance ranks fourth in
terms of perceived risk. In this regard, over 65% of drivers
give a value of 8 (on a scale of 0-10), reflecting the higher
risk considerations associated with this behavior as a
cause of accidents. It is very worrying that 11.2% of
drivers do not perceive any risks in the conduct of driving
without seat belts even in the back seats and in a
city. Also, only 25% give the maximum risk. Thus, it
seems necessary to carry out interventions to promote a
change in attitudes about it. Regarding the status of the
vehicle, one out of three drivers do not consider that it is a
factor or element of risk (scores below five), when the
reality is that many accidents are the result of the poor
condition of the vehicle, caused by a lack of concern in
maintaining its security levels. Finally, there are few
drivers who believe that shouting while driving carries
some risk.
If we analyze the relationship between the risk
perceived by drivers in each one of the studied behaviors
as a cause of accidents and in the type of road they use for
their trips, those who mainly do urban journeys attributed,
on average, higher scores to all the behavior, while the
average scores of other participants only differ
significantly in the case of shouting or insulting while
driving F(3,1086)=7.29; p<.001(see Figure 4 and Table 2).
The analysis of mean differences through Bonferroni
test, as shown in Table 2, indicates that drivers shout or
verbally insult depending on the type of road.
Subjects that drive on urban roads or highway give
higher scores and are statistically more significant than
those driving on turnpikes. Finally, there are also higher
and statistically significant results in subjects who drive
on conventional roads, in alignment with the group of
subjects who travel on a turnpike.
Figure 3. Level of risk perception according to different potential misbehaviors
Figure 4. Distribution of the risk perceived in the behavior “shouting or insulting when driving" depending on the road normally used while traveling
4.8 4.6
Conventional road
Where do you perceive that insulting or screaming is
6 Journal of Sociology and Anthropology
Table 2. Bonferroni test
Dep. variable (I) (J)
Mean diff.
SE Sig.
CI 95%
Shouting or
insulting verbally
while driving
Conventional road
I= type of road normally used for trips; J = type of road normally used for trips.
Table 3. Bonferroni test
Dep. variable (I) (J)
Mean diff.
SE Sig.
Shouting or insulting verbally
while driving
Almost never Many always 1.54 .41 .002
Almost never Sometimes .99 .23 <.001
Never Many always 1.92 .39 <.001
Never Sometimes 1.37 .21 <.001
I= "How often participants shout or insult while driving:"; J= "How often participants shout or insult while driving:"
Table 4. Descriptive statistics for reported means of shouting or
insulting while driving among Spanish drivers
Frequency n M SD
Always 22 4.09 3.64
Many times
54 3.35 2.86
Sometimes 291 3.90 2.63
Almost never
448 5.27 2.88
Total 1088 4.69 2.82
The frequency in which drivers perform the behaviors
studied is also maintained in each risk. Subjects who show
a high risk perception perform these behaviors to a lesser
extent. If we focus on shouting or insulting behavior
while driving, we obtain statistically significant results
F(4,1083)=14.79, p<.001.g Applying the post-hoc Bonferroni
we found, as it can be seen in Table 3, that drivers who
say they often carry out this behavior are also those who
perceive the lowest risk in doing so, and their mean values
are statistically different from those of drivers who say
they never or almost never shout or insult while driving
(see Table 4).
Moreover, while virtually all drivers say that driving at
an excessive speed, driving with levels of alcohol higher
than what is legally allowed and driving without insurance
are punishable behaviors, it is noteworthy that 14% think
that driving without seat belts is not punishable. The 8% of
drivers report that driving at an inappropriate speed is not
sanctionable; in the case of not keeping a safe distance,
25% believe that it is not sanctionable either, and the same
applies to 65% of drivers for what concerns shouting and
insulting while driving. Also, it is noteworthy how 65% of
them think that smoking while driving is not sanctionable.
Finally, if we analyze the type of sanctions that drivers
associated with each behavior, it can be observed that
between 81% and 96% of drivers believe that all
behaviors can be sanctioned with a fine, 70% said that
driving with excessive alcohol levels can be punished with
prison, while about 90% of drivers said that driving at an
excessive speed, at an inappropriate speed for the existing
conditions (85%) or exceeding the alcohol limits (96.4%)
may involve a temporary or full suspension of the driving
license; also, 78% said that driving without an insurance
may be subject to penalty.
4. Discussion
Anger reactions and expressions are a commonly
observed phenomenon on the road. Children observe,
react and internalize swearing, screaming, obscene
gestures or violent abuses of drivers: this role model
distorts the attitudes about what is dangerous, and gives
children the perception that the existence of aggressive
drivers on the road is normal, which increases the risk for
everyone. Also, role models of aggressive driving in the
media can contribute to the lack of respect towards people
and towards the traffic regulation. Through this model, the
risky driver lowers the threshold for expressing disrespect
and endangering others, making shouting and insulting a
socially acceptable behavior. Role models of aggressive
drivers may wear a sense of social responsibility as key
road users for the health and safety of others [25].
In this study we have found that aggressive driving is a
normal behavior for 26.4% of respondents. On the other
hand, 66.4% of people do not often perform or have never
performed behaviors such as shouting or insulting other
drivers on the road.
Also, the assessment of the perceived risk of violent
behaviors like yelling or insulting in relation to other risky
behaviors that occur on the roads allows us to predict and
improve the existing measures of intervention on this
issue [9,19,23]. Thus, there are few drivers who perceive
some risk in this type of action, situating "shouting" behind
other behaviors such as "driving after consuming alcohol",
"driving without adapting to road conditions," "driving
faster than permitted", “not keeping the safe distance", “not
using a seat belt "and" having a vehicle in poor condition”.
These results are consistent with other studies, which
also emphasize that there is a tendency to underestimate
the perceived risk and, at the same time, to overestimate
the risk assumed in the case of many of these behaviors
[26]. The problem is that, often, drivers are right. If
someone talks to any taxi driver or with someone who
spent most of his/her working day behind the wheel, this
person will not hesitate to say that traffic is like a jungle,
where the strongest ones prevail and where one should not
lower his or her guard. They are the first to be always on
the defensive, and sometimes the best defense is a good
offense. Antisocial driving is in many senses “contagious”,
and it is becoming the statistical and social norm in big
Journal of Sociology and Anthropology 7
cities, becoming an evident predictor of risky behaviors
while driving [27]. In the worst cases, driving seems to
bring out the worst of people. As soon as drivers get into
the car and sit behind the wheel, they are transformed, and
almost never for good. Many people stop being
polite and become selfish, hostile and aggressive and,
simultaneously, more dangerous to other road users [28].
5. Conclusions
Multiple types of risky maneuvers and deliberated
misbehaviors, which are (formally and informally)
already forbidden from a legal point of view, make other
drivers and pedestrians uncomfortable, and restrict their
movements, creating violent situations related to higher
objective risk for every road user. The degree of social
tolerance towards such behavior is variable. Some
individuals merely ignore them them, accepting them
as something inevitable. Others, however, react with
indignation, unleashing all their lexicon of profanity and
swearing, cursing and accompanying their words with
relevant nonverbal communication, gestures of reproach,
and sometimes reaching direct confrontation. Some people
are frightened or feel anxious about this. Fear causes are
removed, leading to coercion. Anxiety makes people
nervous, makes them become indecisive or hesitant, thus
giving rise to situations of risk or endangering both them
and others.
In general, aggressive behaviors observed on the road
are preceded by subjective factors such as stress, fatigue
and personality traits. However, for the specific case of
shouting and cursing, as specifically addressed in this
study, there is a higher prevalence of these misbehaviors
in urban areas and on highways, and they are more related
to the observed behaviors of other road users, such as
breaking the rules and performing risky maneuvers.
Finally, regarding the intervention strategies that could
be used to prevent this kind of aggressive expressions, it
has been demonstrated that the articulation of road safety
education and road safety campaigns can strengthen the
growth of a road safety culture among road users.
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... It is much appreciated that some journals, such as the BMJ (British Medical Journal), CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) and MJA (Medical Journal of Australia), routinely include humorous papers in their December issues. Alonso et al. (2017) investigated the frequency, reasons, perceived risk and punishment of shouting and cursing while driving based on a questionnaire administered to 1,000 drivers in Spain. It was found that 26% of drivers recognise that they shout or insult at the wheel, while 66% say they have never or almost never displayed this type of behaviour. ...
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This is the sixth and last in a series of papers celebrating some of the weird and wonderful research findings hidden amongst the scientific literature. It aims to ensure that we remember the funnier side of science and provides answers to questions we may have been too afraid to ask. Here, we examine selected research relating to work health and safety and our general physical and mental wellbeing.
... Traffic congestion occurs when traffic demand exceeds road capacity and produces many negative impacts such as travel delay, excess greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and road rage [1]- [3]. In 2018, an American driver lost an average of 97 hours, with an estimated cost of $1,348 per driver totaling $87 billion, due to traffic congestion [4]. ...
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Uncertainty, a critical factor of causing congestion and extra travel costs in the commute, can be mitigated by providing information. This paper studies the welfare effects of accurate pre-trip information on departure time and route choices in the morning commute under binary stochastic bottleneck capacity. We consider a classical two-route network. Each route has a single bottleneck where congestion occurs during the rush hours. The two routes’ bottleneck capacities vary from day-to-day due to events such as bad weather, accidents, and temporary road closures. We derive all equilibrium solutions in consideration of the differences between routes in free-flow travel time, the shadow value of travel time, the severity of bottleneck capacity reductions, and the degree of correlation between two routes in travel conditions. Furthermore, we investigate the benefit changes from zero-information to full-information and prove that accurate pre-trip information about the bottleneck conditions is strictly welfare-improving. Finally, these theoretical results are supplemented by case studies that show examples of benefit gains from pre-trip information.
... In addition, as several researches show, it can increase aggressiveness and hostility, thus leading to more traffic accidents and offenses and to a higher risk of recurrence. For what concerns Spain, at least 26% of Spanish drivers usually shout or insult in traffic, and this corresponds to a risk factor for accidents (Alonso, Esteban, Serge, & Ballestar, 2017). The importance of this data is that drivers who ''are recidivist in having accidents" reduce the importance of an event which is clearly important for the driving task, since from it vengeance as a fact, distractions etc. can arise. ...
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Research on traffic safety has highlighted the importance of studying and intervening in aggressive driving in order to reduce crashes and accidents. The main objective of this work is to describe the perception of what people consider an aggressive behavior, and their perception of which are the most aggressive acts performed when driving. The sample was composed of 1079 Spanish drivers aged over 14. They participated in a national telephone survey, completing a questionnaire which gathered socio-demographic data and information on the drivers’ profiles, containing a “Perception of aggressive driving Scale (PAD)”. The unifactorial ANOVA test for repeated measures of the General Linear Model (GLM) with α = 0.05 procedure was used for the comparison of mean values. Results show that drivers tend to make higher valuations regarding the aggressive character of the PAD (M = 7.86 SD = 0.05). The situation that most concerned Spanish drivers was “To produce damage to other people with some type of object or weapon” (M = 9.47 SD = 0.05), which does not necessarily correspond to the driving context. Differences in perception were found depending on socio-demographic variables. Women, drivers over 29 years old, low-middle social classes, and drivers who had suffered two accidents, tended to evaluate PAD as more aggressive. These findings suggest that differences in the perception of aggressive behaviors depend on social situations and on the driver’s personal features. Finally, the findings of this research will help road safety researchers understand the concept of aggressiveness under different perspectives, and take into account the existing differences between dangerous and punishable behaviors. Moreover, these outcomes showed the necessity to deepen the research on those behaviors that Spaniards perceive as aggressive, and to develop knowledge on why the perception of aggressiveness changes according to the characteristics of the population, and how this perception is reflected in people’s attitudes and behaviors towards road safety.
... Meanwhile, sanctions are necessary for drivers to perceive the potential consequences of their road misbehaviors, and thus prevent different the occurrence or reoccurrence of different risky behaviors (Vargas, Castro, Martos, & Trujillo, 2012). Many of drivers are, nevertheless, still unaware of which type of penalty is associated to each road offense; for example, if its punishing manner corresponds to an economic, administrative or penal/criminal sanction (Alonso, Esteban, Calatayud, Sanmartín, Alamar, & Ballestar, 2015;Alonso, Esteban, Serge & Ballestar, Alonso, Esteban, Serge, & Ballestar, 2017). ...
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Road safety is a complex process that not only depends on technical and environmental improvements, but in a major part from human factors. In this sense, recent empirical studies have remarked the need to study the interaction between subject and laws, at the glance of several elements preceding road behavior. This is the case of attitudes, opinions and perceptions in the field of road safety, factors that influence the interaction with issues such as traffic rules, police supervision, penalties and justice in traffic. The objective of this study was to describe the self-rated knowledge and perceptions regarding traffic norms and its interaction with road safety among drivers. For this study, a sample of 1100 Spanish drivers was obtained from a national sampling process. The results showed that the clear majority of drivers consider they know in a sufficient manner the traffic norms, and consider them as effective. Concerning police supervision, almost 70% of them consider that it is effective, but generally assumes that traffic agents prefer to be located in strategical places to catch offenders, rather than in really dangerous places. Regarding sanctions, drivers conceived the punishment to road offenders principally as educational and tax-collection measures. Finally, the general assessment of justice in traffic provided by Spanish drivers has shown a regular-low valuation degree. The obtained results invite to discuss about the interaction between traffic norms and road user, with the aim of promoting a positive law enforcement as a manner to build road safety culture.
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Road safety education is, widely, the best base and the greatest assurance of the future in terms of road safety prevention and promotion. Nowadays, RSE constitutes one of the main growing concerns in terms of complimentary education in many countries, taking into account, among other factors, the high rates of accidents that affect the health and welfare of childhood and adolescence. Furthermore, it is a necessity for the community health to create, train, encourage and lead positives attitudes for good road safety education. The general objective of this study was to describe the factors and stakeholders that have influence on the learning of road safety education and safe behaviors of children as road users. The results are very interesting. For example, when to parents have been asked about road safety education of their children, factors such as the parents influence and school environment have been considered as positive factors or stakeholders that influence on the road safety education of the children. Regarding children’s opinion, most of the children consider that the drivers do not respect the rules never or sometimes, but only 5% of them believe that their parents do not respect the normative. However, a third part of the children reports signs of road aggression among their parents. Furthermore, 13% of the children do not feel safe when walks by their cities. This study shows the vital importance of the road safety education and key stakeholders, such as parents and the scholar system, to promote safe attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in terms of road safety. Also, the observed behaviors and circumstances related with road behavior of parents have an important influence on children’s road safety education, that is crucial issue that must be addressed from different perspectives, due to high accident rates registered by children, who are a key population group to direct interventions in this regard, aiming to increase the effectiveness of interventions for welfare and health improvement, based on the child education.
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Traffic crashes are considered one of the major public health concerns, considering that this phenomenon explains a high number of deaths and injuries every year, and around all the world in different groups of population. The Road Safety Education (or Traffic Safety Education), regarding the complexity of this process, and that it takes place during the complete process of life of individuals, is considered as a key determinant of road safety behaviors and a relatively lower road risk, essentially for road users with more and diverse high risk factors which may explain the occurrence of road accidents, such as young adults. The general objective of this study was to describe the associated factors to the Road Safety Education in the higher education institutions (universities) of Spain, and its relationship with road safety factors among young adults currently coursing a career in this kind of centers. Throughout this study, it was also assessed a set of indicators related with road safety education " outputs " , such as attitudes towards road safety, knowledge of traffic law and signals, risk perception and risky behaviors on the road. This cross-sectional study used a total sample of n=843 (357 (42.3%) men, and 486 (57.7%) women) university students, who answered a questionnaire designed to collect data about their psychosocial characteristics, factors associated with road safety education at Spanish higher education institutions and, finally, their attitudes, perceptions and self-reported behaviors as road users. Besides finding a very low participation of Spanish universities in road safety education, and of its students in these activities or programs, significant measures of association between individual factors and the employed road safety education indicators were found. Gender comparisons show substantial differences on road safety education indicators between men and women, being, in all cases, more adverse results corresponding to the male gender. Finally, it was built a multiple linear regression model, that allowed to establish the statistical influence of the road safety education on risky behaviors on the road of Spanish university students. This study shows that it is necessary to develop strategies to increase the presence of actions related to road safety education within universities, to improve the coverage and quality of the learning process of this subject among higher education students, and to include universities in the development of a multi-sectorial road safety education strategy.
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Motor-vehicle crashes are a major public health concern since road accidents explain a high number of deaths every year. In this sense, drivers' health and performance are critical issues in order to avoid traffic crashes, taking into account that these characteristics are essential to achieve this task correctly and safety. Previous studies have found that the fatigue, due to the cognitive and motor deterioration it causes, contributes to increase significantly the probability of being involved in a crash. The general objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of fatigue symptomatology among Spanish drivers, and its relationship with driving safety. It were also analyzed, throughout this investigation, the risk perception of drivers about fatigue in driving, the prevalence of fatigue symptomatology on drivers, the relation of the drivers with or without fatigue symptoms with the reported and subjective incidence of health in driving, and finally, to provide a further understanding of the socio-demographic and psycho-social characteristics of drivers related to fatigue in Spain. This cross-sectional study used a total sample of n=1200 (666 [56%] men and 534 [44%] women) Spanish drivers, who answered a questionnaire designed to collect data about their psychosocial characteristics, driving habits and perceptions about their driving performance and decision-making related with fatigue. A high percentage of Spanish drivers (18%), were not aware of the effects of fatigue and its impact on driving. In general terms, 15.8% of the participants showed fatigue symptoms. Furthermore, 61.1% of them thought that sometimes they were not in good conditions to drive. However, the remaining 38.9% admitted they felt in good conditions to drive even presenting fatigue symptoms. This study shows that an important percentage of drivers did not think about the fact that fatigue has a negative influence on driving, compared to what they thought about psychoactive drugs, drowsiness, and drug use. Guidelines to increase traffic safety trough the intervention of drivers' fatigue are proposed.
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Anger is an emotion that drivers often feel and express while driving, and it is believed by researchers to be an important cause of dangerous driving behavior. In this study, the relationships between driving trait anger, driving anger expression, and dangerous driving behaviors were analyzed. The Driving Anger Scale (DAS) was used to measure driving trait anger, whereas the Driving Anger Expression (DAX) Inventory was used to measure expressions of driving anger. A sample of 38 drivers completed the DAS, DAX, and a driving simulation session on a simulator where their driving behaviors were recorded. Correlation analysis showed that the higher scores on the DAS were associated with longer durations of speeding in the simulator. The more participants expressed their anger in verbal and physical ways, the more likely they were to crash the virtual vehicle during the simulation. Regression analyses illustrated the same pattern. The findings suggest that, although trait anger is related to speeding, the passive expression of anger is the real factor underling traffic accidents. This study extends findings about the predictive effects of self-report scales of driving behaviors to behaviors recorded on a simulator. Thus, if in traffic safety propaganda, guiding drivers to use positive ways to cope with driving anger is recommended by our findings.
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Objective: There is still an open debate about the utility of social desirability indicators. This report systematically reviewed the use of social desirability scales in studies addressing social desirability in clinical psychology. Method: A systematic review (January 2010-March 2015) was conducted, including 35 studies meeting the inclusion criteria of being published in peer-reviewed journals and describing quantitative findings about an association of social desirability with clinical psychology variables using a cross-sectional or longitudinal design. Results: Social desirability was associated with self-reports of various clinical-psychological dimensions. Most of the included studies treated social desirability as a 1-dimensional variable and only 10 of 35 disentangled the impression management and self-deception components. Although theoretical literature does not consider social desirability a mere response bias, only 4 of the reviewed articles controlled for the possible suppressor effect of personality variables on social desirability, while the majority focused upon the stylistic (response bias) rather than the substantive (personality) nature of this construct. Conclusion: The present review highlighted some limitations in the use of social desirability scales in recent clinical psychology research and tried to offer a few suggestions for handling this issue.
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La norma existe sea cual sea su manifestación, porque es producto y necesidad de la interacción entre las personas. Pero no tiene sentido si nadie controla que ésta se cumpla. Necesitamos a alguien que administre finalmente las sanciones cuando no se cumpla la norma. Necesitamos algo/alguien que administre la veracidad de que los comportamientos realmente se han producido, de la intención de los mismos, que evalúe la gravedad, que los ponga en relación con lo que las normas dicen, sus excepciones… Necesitamos juzgar antes de sancionar. Es necesario aplicar la justicia. Cada uno de nosotros en algún momento asumimos alguno o todos estos roles a la vez. En efecto, en muchas de nuestras actuaciones diarias, ya sean laborales, familiares…, dictamos normas, controlamos que éstas se cumplan y si se nos permite decirlo, dictamos sentencias para los individuos sobre los que tenemos influencias. En el tema del tráfico, de los accidentes e incidentes, como en toda conducta que se lleva a cabo en un sistema interactivo, hay víctimas y culpables/responsables. En nuestro país existe una tendencia abrumadora en los últimos tiempos, de “intensificar temporalmente los controles”, a intentar establecer nuevas fórmulas sancionadoras e incluso aumentar la calificación de gravedad de la infracción, así como su cuantía. Una de las preguntas que surgen a colación de esto sería ¿se justifica este empeño en detrimento de otras medidas?, ¿se atiende a las variables que, al menos teóricamente aumentarán la eficacia de estas medidas? Hemos constatado que realizando un estudio poblacional facilitamos los posicionamientos de las personas e incrementamos la riqueza en las discusiones a través de todas las variables que hemos podido tratar. Conocer los pensamientos de la población española nos va a permitir, sin lugar a dudas, analizar el problema con mayor rigor, así como proponer soluciones (medidas y contramedidas) más ajustadas a la realidad social sobre la que se va a aplicar. Con ello, pretendemos convertir este libro en manual de consulta para aquellos que intervienen en el marco de la seguridad vial tanto a nivel general como a nivel de los que participan más activamente en el tema más especifico que aquí trabajamos. El libro se ha estructurado en tres grandes partes: En la primera de ellas, para permitir una composición mejor acerca de las circunstancias de las que se han extraído los datos del estudio, se describe la metodología del mismo. En una segunda parte presentamos los más relevantes y significativos resultados del estudio, capítulo que está dividido en diferentes bloques: Normativa, Supervisión Policial, Sanciones, Justicia, Modelos de Respuesta y Medidas. Los cuatro primeros bloques aunque son independientes, puesto que tratan aspectos distintos de un proceso que tiene una cronología relativamente clara, tienen un cierto grado de relación que indudablemente va a quedar reflejado en un análisis que cruza algunas de estas variables con el quinto bloque. Además, este quinto bloque que aborda una serie de conductas, de las cuales algunas son sancionables y otras no lo son, tiene un análisis autónomo que trata de reflejar las relaciones que tiene el continuo con las conductas, las creencias, los conocimientos, las actitudes, etc. En el sexto bloque se analizan, también desde el doble enfoque: de forma autónoma y en relación con los otros, las medidas que se llevan o se pueden llevar a cabo y que tienen relación con la temática que estamos trabajando. En realidad, “medidas” son todos los puntos tratados, pero en este bloque analizamos algunas características diferenciales de las mismas tal y como existen y tal y como podrían ser que, nos parece, tienen una implicación diferencial En una tercera parte, realizamos un recorrido sobre algunos de los resultados que, siendo significativos, puedan ofrecer un panorama general de los conocimientos obtenidos mediante esta investigación. Y lo hacemos desde la óptica, que nunca debemos perder, de las implicaciones que los mismos pueden tener desde un punto de vista aplicado. Recogemos en este libro “análisis complementarios” y conclusiones que nos ayuden a encontrar respuestas en la búsqueda de la máxima eficacia y eficiencia del sistema, considerando sus posibles alternativas.
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La norma y todo lo que de ella se deriva es fundamental en el ámbito del tráfico para regular los comportamientos de los conductores, porque de lo que se trata en última instancia y por encima de otros objetivos es de preservar el derecho fundamental a nuestra vida y la de los demás. Es obvio que en el ámbito del tráfico, el riesgo que asumamos con nuestras conductas imprudentes, no sólo repercute sobre uno mismo, sino que pone en riesgo a las personas (conductores y peatones) con los que interactuamos. A lo largo de los diferentes apartados que conforman este libro, damos algunas pinceladas a cada uno de los elementos que hemos considerado conforman el “mecanismo cíclico de las medidas legislativas en el tráfico y la seguridad vial”, es decir, las medidas que regulan, supervisan, sancionan, juzgan el comportamiento vial de los usuarios de la vía. La composición, interacción, generalidades, particularidades…, de cada uno de estos elementos. La legislación, la normativa, las ordenanzas, regulaciones, como veremos, se establecen con el fin de que sean cumplidas, y con ello garantizar la seguridad vial. No obstante, en la realidad, en la vida cotidiana, no siempre ocurre así, por lo que se hace necesario establecer un mecanismo de control que sea capaz de advertir qué usuarios no cumplen con la normativa. Dependiendo del grado de cumplimiento y de sus consecuencias, será necesario establecer un sistema sancionador con el objetivo de persuadir a los infractores a cumplir la ley (bajo los principios del aprendizaje y del castigo). Debido a la heterogeneidad en los subgrupos de usuarios de la vía, nuevas tecnologías, regulaciones, densidad, etc. “siempre habrá infractores”, por lo que también periódicamente habrá que revisar, modificar las leyes, y en ocasiones, introducir otras nuevas leyes. Volviendo entonces al principio del proceso. Casi de forma cronológica iremos, en cada uno de los componentes, haciendo referencia a su descripción, generalidades, particularidades, objetivos y eficacia. Nos centraremos fundamentalmente en nuestro país, aunque siempre haremos referencia a nuestros vecinos europeos. Esta referencia consideramos que es obligatoria, en primer lugar por la riqueza que puede suponer una comparativa y/o crítica constructiva, y sobre todo por la tendencia a la convergencia europea que domina en esta área, la del tráfico, el transporte y la seguridad, convergencia en ocasiones ya oficial Hablamos de leyes, legisladores, de derecho, de fuerzas de seguridad del estado, de estructuras, jerarquización, organización, hablamos de la judicatura, jueces, potestad administrativa, del ius pudiendi, pero sobre todo hablamos de usuarios de la vía que son sometidos a leyes, que han de ser persuadidos para su cumplimiento, controlados y supervisados por su comportamiento, sancionados, juzgados, con un único objetivo “prevenir, evitar los accidentes garantizando la seguridad vial”. Desde una visión integral, sin tecnicismos innecesarios, desde una terminología lo más lega y profana posible abordaremos diferentes temáticas: En primer lugar nos hemos referido a la legislación, a las leyes de seguridad vial, al código de circulación, con relación a las principales conductas de riesgo que, por ende, son objeto máximo de regulación y control legal. No tanto a la descripción de las leyes sino a las necesidades y requisitos de su eficacia, así como a los fenómenos que son inherentes a su potencial acatamiento o quebrantamiento. En segundo lugar, hemos abordado el control y la supervisión de la legislación, sus objetivos y eficacia, como preámbulo de la ejecución del sistema de sanciones. Por último, la sanción, su por qué, su fundamentación, su eficacia, su tendencia, las cuestiones que deriva. La sanción, desde el punto de vista administrativo y penal, está marcando una tendencia clara, endurecer las leyes, endurecer las sanciones. Socialmente se reclama la penalización de los delitos. Es lógico, hablamos de muertos, de lesionados, de víctimas inocentes. Se busca castigar al que mata, con una pistola, con un vehículo… Al fin y al cabo para los familiares de aquel que ha sido asesinado por un conductor ebrio, que conduce a una velocidad excediendo los límites permitidos, al que la mayoría de usuarios circula o debería circular de acuerdo con la ley, es un asesino. Y los asesinos, los homicidas, deben ser juzgados por los tribunales de lo penal. No somos juristas, no somos magistrados, no somos expertos policiales, todos somos usuarios de la vía que vamos a reflexionar.
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Aggressive driving, being the most dangerous behavior on the roads, attracts special attention of the WHO and the UNO. The term of aggressive driving was introduced in the territory of Latvia in 2004 giving a definition of this violation on the legislative level. The issues connected with the drivers’ ideas on the present phenomenon were studied in the course of a multi-stage research. 2160 drivers representing all regions of Latvia were investigated. As a result of the study, a multi-component model was obtained. Driver’s personality is one of the most important components of the ideas on aggressive driving, evaluation of which was performed in the plane of three factors. Comparative analysis between the drivers and the inspectors of the road traffic regarding this component is performed and the results are presented in this article. Additionally, in the course of the study, a drivers’ typology was specified.
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Background: Evaluation of intra-city roads in terms of environmental factors of motor vehicle injuries can help us to better identify these factors and the share of each of the factors in injuries. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the high injury areas and the risk factors of motor vehicle crashes resulting in injury and death in Tehran, the capital city of Iran, from November 2011 through February 2012. Methods: In this cross sectional study, the locations of the motor vehicle injuries resulting in injuries and deaths were obtained from police stations in Tehran. The coordinates of the injuries locations were extracted and entered into the Arc-GIS software to overlay the different layers of geographical data and extract the risk map. Results: A total of 4257 motor vehicle injuries were evaluated in this study. Forty-two injuries (1%) resulted in death and 4215 injuries (99%) resulted in injury. The traffic districts 5 and 21 had the highest frequency of injuries resulting in death. The type of the motor vehicle resulting in injury or death was motorcycle in 2330 injuries (54.73%). Conclusion: The frequency of traffic injuries is more in the west and northwest areas of Tehran, and it is caused more by motorcycles in terms of traffic and motor injuries resulting in injury and death. It is useful to conduct more studies to better identify these factors considering their importance in traffic injuries.
Conference Paper
This research tested hypotheses from state-trait anger theory applied to anger while driving. High and low anger drivers drove equally often and as many miles, but high anger drivers reported more frequent and intense anger and more aggression and risky behavior in daily driving, greater anger in frequently occurring situations, more frequent close calls and moving violations, and greater use of hostile/aggressive and less adaptive/constructive ways of expressing anger. In low impedance simulations, groups did not differ on state anger or aggression; however, high anger drivers reported greater state anger and verbal and physical aggression in high impedance simulations. High anger drivers drove at higher speeds in low impedance simulations and had shorter times and distances to collision and were twice as likely to crash in high impedance simulations. Additionally, high anger drivers were more generally angry. Hypotheses were generally supported, and few gender differences were noted for anger and aggression.