Historical Perspective on Aggressive Driving
In North America, cars have been mass produced for 104 years, and there are 177 million
licensed drivers in the United States. Driving is the most dangerous activity for the
majority of people in industrialized society. Driving accidents have killed millions of
people since 1900, and the number of deaths and injuries increase in proportion to the
number of drivers, and the total number of miles driven in a given area (NCSA, 1994).
There has been some progress in industrialized countries where deaths and serious injuries
from automobile collisions have been reduced as a result of these developments (Rothe,
More and safer roads with better traction, visibility, and maintenance.
Improved cars equipped with new safety devices and crash proof designs that save
livessafety belts, air bags, child restraint car seats, shock absorption and
controlled collapse, crash tests with computer sensors, intelligent cruise control, sleep
monitors, and collision-avoidance systems.
Better medical emergency services and infrastructure on streets and highways resulting in
more survivors after crashes.
Better law enforcement, including more personnel, use of electronic surveillance on
highways and key intersections, sobriety check points, stealth campaigns using unmarked
cars and aircraft, new aggressive driving legislation with tougher sentencing, graduated
licensing for teenaged drivers, and greater involvement of courts in remedial driver
training for offenders (Sherer, Friedmann, Rolider & Van Houten, 1984; Shinar &
Mandated driver education and aggressive driving prevention instruction in schools.
More sophisticated transportation management systems, including computer controlled
lights, traffic calming devices, re-routing schemes, HOV lanes, alternative transportation
initiatives, dynamic traffic signs, Geo Positioning Systems, ramp meters, roadside
sensors, and traffic flow detectors (Schulz, 1996).
Economic incentives for drivers who remain accident free, greater insurance cost for
accident prone drivers, special benefits from enrolling in refresher courses and other
driver self-improvement activities (Hunter & Stutts, 1982; Wilde, 1985).
Its important to note that despite improvements in these seven areas, when viewed
over decades, the rate of traffic deaths and injuries remains relatively constant. For
instance, in the 1950s the annual fatality rate due to automobile collisions was around
50,000 while in the 1990s it is near 40,000. Yes, there has been a reduction, but the
curve has quickly leveled off and remains high, around 40,000 deaths and approaching 6
million injuries annually.
There are two opposing forces that contribute to these results. External environmental
forces operate to increase safety and reduce risk, such as modern highway management and
car design. Internal individual forces operate to maintain high risk at the expense of
safety, such as:
Widespread acceptance of a competitive norm that values getting ahead of other drivers.
A daily round schedule of time pressure and mismanagement with rushing and routinely
disobeying traffic laws.
Incomplete driver education curricula so that most people have inadequate training in
emotional self-control as drivers.
Media portrayals of aggressive driving behaviors in a fun context.
A psychological tendency to maintain a preferred level of risk, so that people increase
their risk level when environmental improvements are introduced (also called "risk
Scientists and safety officials attribute this resistance to accident reduction to the
attitude and behavior of drivers who tend to respond to safety improvements by driving
more dangerously. It has been noted that a critical aspect of driving is the drivers
competence in balancing risk with safety. The risk in driving is largely under the control
of the driver. The driver decides in each moment what risks to take and which to inhibit
or avoid. Risk taking is a tendency that varies greatly among drivers as well as for the
same driver under different conditions. Thus, if a road is made safer by straightening it,
or by removing objects that interfere with visibility, drivers will compensate for the
greater safety by driving fasterthe "risk homeostasis" phenomenon (Wilde,
1994; Summala, 1987).
The result is the maintenance of a constant subjective feeling of risk that is the
normal habitual threshold for a particular driver. In such a driving environment, the rate
of deaths or injuries tends to remain high despite numerous safety improvements. The
societal response to the stalemate between road safety and individual risk tolerance has
been to increase enforcement activities by monitoring, ticketing, and jailing hundreds of
thousands of drivers. Nevertheless, the number of deaths and injuries has remained nearly
steady. Besides law enforcement, there has been an increase in litigation due to
aggressive driving disputes between drivers, as well as the growth of psychotherapy and
counseling services, including anger management clinics and workshops, and community
initiatives. These scattered attempts have not caused a change in basic driving patterns.
Aggressive Driving as a Cultural Habit
Aggressiveness, rage and anger reactions are commonplace on the road because they are
learned habits, acquired by children in the backseat, where kids are not merely passive
passengers. Kids observe and react internally to their drivers' cursing or yelling,
obscene or violent gestures, trash talk, and other common forms of derision and
retaliation. Children are also proprioceptively conditioned to levels of speed in an
in-car environment that emphasizes rushing and getting ahead of others. This role model
distorts attitudes about what is dangerous, and raises kids to be normal aggressive
drivers that increase risk for everyone. Aggressive driver role models in the media can
also contribute to disrespect for people and traffic regulations. The risky driver role
model lowers the threshold for expressing disrespect. It lowers the threshold for
endangering others, making it acceptable to run a red light, or to drink and drive.
Aggressive driver role models can erode a driver's sense of social responsibility.
Aggressive driving is on the increase because it is a learned habit that is transmitted
from one generation to the next, and reinforced in the media. Unchecked, the incidence and
severity of aggressive driving and road rage are expected to continue to rise. The new
aggressive driving legislation and new law enforcement programs are putting more pressure
on millions of drivers to modify their traffic emotions, their competitive mode of
driving, and their acceptance of high-risk that they are willing to impose on others
around them. The re-education and continued training of the nation's 177 million drivers
must be a priority. Given adequate tools and motivation, most drivers can train themselves
to be less competitive and more obedient to traffic regulations.
Without this training, drivers constantly find themselves in psychological states that
should be considered emotionally impaired driving. They cannot adequately deal with the
rules of engagement on crowded streets and roads. Emotional disturbances at the wheel can
be as dangerous as alcohol or drug impairment. We believe that aggressive driving is
largely a product of routinely driving in emotionally impaired states due to insufficient
training. Of course there is a range from mild to severe degrees of impairment. There is
diminished self-control and impaired judgment due to emotions that interfere with
objective perception and lead to biased thinking. A variety of impairments are associated
with aggressive driving:
- Under the influence of alcohol, drugs, medication, drowsiness, depression or severe
Driving under the influence of these mental states is aggressive because they distort
perception, reduce self-control, and impose higher risk on other drivers.
- Under the influence of anger or rage.
Driving under the influence of anger is aggressive because it loosens inhibitions,
intensifies self-righteous indignation, and encourages retaliation and unlawful acts.
- Under the influence of fear or panic.
Driving under the influence of fear is aggressive because it promotes irrational thought
sequences that misinterpret the behavior of other drivers, perceiving threat where none is
- Under the influence of stress.
Driving under the influence of stress is aggressive because it increases irritability and
explosive reactions, and reduces self-control.
- Driving distracted.
Driving under the influence of distraction is aggressive because it endangers others due
to inattention and imposes higher risk on other drivers.
- Under the influence of speed and risk addiction.
Driving under the influence of speed addiction is aggressive because it imposes higher
risk on others.
- Self-appointed vigilante
Driving under the influence of vengeance and retribution is aggressive because they
encourage retaliation and unlawful acts.
- Under the influence of habitual rushing mania, including reacting impulsively or
unpredictably under time pressure.
Driving under the influence of rushing mania is aggressive because it reduces
self-control, imposes higher risk on others, and endangers them through inattention or
- Habitual disrespect for the law, ignoring regulations and harboring hostility towards
Being a scofflaw is aggressive because it encourages unlawful acts and imposes higher risk
- Habitual disrespect for others, holding biased assumptions and making wrong
Driving under the influence of disrespect is aggressive because it encourages retaliation,
imposes higher risk on others, misinterprets the behavior of other drivers, perceives
threat where none is intended, and denigrates others.
- Lack of awareness and habitual denial of one's own driving mistakes.
Driving under the influence of denial is aggressive because it reduces self-control,
limits driver self-improvement and imposes higher risk on others.
Driving is emotionally challenging because unexpected things happen constantly,
including dangerous things and being picked on. In addition, congestion intensifies time
pressure from delays, and there is a greater diversity of drivers, some less competent
than others. The rules of engagement on the road are harsh and competitive, even hostile.
Most drivers find these conditions emotionally challenging and experience difficulty
coping. Therefore, most people routinely drive in an emotionally impaired state. Drivers
are filled with competitive motives and explosive intentions that they are not fully aware
of. These motives and intentions are emotionally impaired states because they distort the
driver's thinking and amplify the emotions beyond adequate self-control. Drivers use these
emotions to engage in impulsive and risky behavior, giving little thought to those they
endanger by taking more risks. These emotions encourage drivers to be self-serving and
Definition of Aggressive Driving
Aggressive driving is driving under the influence of impaired emotions, resulting in
behavior that imposes one's own preferred level of risk on others. This is aggressive
because it assumes that others are capable of handling the same risk level, and that one
has the right to increase danger for others. There are three categories of impaired
- Impatience and Inattentiveness
- Power Struggle
- Recklessness and Road Rage
The majority of motorists drive in an emotionally impaired state at certain times. Some
motorists drive in this state more often than others, and pose a serious risk to
themselves and others. Driving violations can be identified by reference to these three
categories of impaired emotions. Each category of impaired emotion leads to different
types of traffic violations.
Category 1: Impatience and Inattentiveness
- Driving through red
- Speeding up to yellow
- Rolling stops
- Cutting corners or rolling over double line
- Blocking intersection
- Failure to yield
- Improper lane change or weaving
- Driving 5 to 15 mph above limit
- Following too close
- Not signaling when required
- Erratically slowing down or speeding up
- Taking too long
Category 2: Power Struggle
- Blocking passing lane, refusing to move over
- Closing the gap to prevent entry
- Threatening or insulting by yelling, gesturing, honking repeatedly
- Tailgating to punish or coerce
- Cutting off to retaliate
- Braking suddenly to retaliate
Category 3: Recklessness and Road Rage
- Chasing in a duel
- Driving drunk
- Pointing a gun or shooting
- Assaulting with the car or battering object
- Driving at very high speeds
The solution to aggressive driving is to develop supportive driving styles that reduce
risk and individual competition in favor of teamwork and cooperation (James & Nahl,
2000a). Drivers in traffic are highly dependent on each other's coordinated actions.
Supportive driving acknowledges that driving is a group activity and drivers are to some
extent responsible for each other's needs. For example, closing the gap in response to
noticing a car that wants to enter your lane is counter-productive to facilitating the
flow of traffic because that vehicle is not going to disappear. Allowing the car into the
lane on request facilitates traffic flow through teamwork and coordination. This is the
safer, more rational and more humane alternative, but there is resistance to developing
supportive driving styles that must be overcome. Clearly, drivers need to become more
knowledgeable and objective about their own behavior since research shows that the
majority of drivers are unaware of the extent of their own aggressiveness (James &
Nahl, 1998). For instance, in answer to the question: What percent of drivers are
aggressive?, respondents say 85%. However, when asked What percent of time do you drive
aggressively?, respondents say 35%. This 50% difference represents an awareness gap
because it shows that they underestimate their own contribution to the problem.
Analyzing the Language of Aggressive Driving
The trend in new legislation is to require greater personal accountability for specific
driving behavior. It makes a big difference whether drivers get a ticket they can pay in
the mail, or get arrested and face misdemeanor or felony charges, and maybe have their
vehicle impounded or license suspended. The driving public has a knowledge gap and needs
to catch-up with new legislation. Surveys show that the majority do not know what the law
considers to be aggressive driving, and when they find out, many disagree about what is
aggressive. In 1998, nine states introduced a combination of 26 bills on aggressive
driving; 4 states had bills pending in 1999 (James & Nahl, 2000b). Most of these bills
attempt to define aggressive driving offenses and establish penalties for them.
Many states are struggling with the issue of how to define aggressive driving. This
difficulty has led to the death of some bills that are perceived as legally too
problematic to define and implement. Some bills proposed intent as part of an aggressive
driving definition. This creates a problem about how to establish intent. Successful bills
adopt a behavioral language that is specific and observable, rather than vague. The
following examples exhibit vague references vs. specific behavioral descriptions in some
||What is "improperly"? Needs specific
|operating a vehicle in a threatening or
intimidating manner with the intent to cause others to lose control or be forced off the
||"Threatening manner" is unclear.
"Intent" of driver is unknown to officer and calls for judgment that can be
questioned in court. Forcing off the road is observable.
|operating a vehicle with a reckless disregard
for the rights of others or in a manner that endangers any property or person
||"Reckless disregard" is a judgment
call. Better to use language that describes the observable behavior.
|driving with intent to harass, annoy or alarm
another person in a manner contrary to law
||"Intent" is difficult to prove and
calls for judgment. Better to describe the driver's behavior, e.g., "honked
repeatedly while tailgating"
|Drivers could be charged with aggressive driving
if they are cited for committing a combination of two or more listed offenses:
- failing to obey a traffic control device
- passing on the right or on the shoulder
- tailgating or following too closely
- failing to signal lane changes or to change lane properly
- failing to yield the right-of-way
- running a red light or stop sign
- passing a vehicle on the right by traveling off the pavement
|Good examples of behavioral language, all are
observable by an officer.
Notice the difference between "failing to change lanes
properly" (vague) and "failing to signal lane changes" (specific).
Here both are used for the same offense. The specific part strengthens the vague one.
The Arizona law uses clear behavioral language that depends on actual observation with
no judgment on the part of the officer. There is an increasing trend to rely on video
evidence as more surveillance equipment is deployed in cars, aircraft, and on highways. As
the legal system attempts to formalize the definition of aggressive driving, the public
already has ingrained notions of what is or is not aggressive behind the wheel. When asked
to rate specific aggressive driving behaviors listed in the new laws, between 20% and 70%
of respondents do not agree that specific violations are aggressive (James & Nahl,
1998). For example, in a survey in Los Angeles, 50% did not agree that speeding up to a
yellow light, honking or blocking the passing lane are aggressive (James & Nahl, 2000,
48). One in three drivers did not agree that tailgating or flashing high beams should be
considered aggressive. This definition gap creates a disparity in legal versus popular
meanings, and excites conflict between public norms and enforcement. Clearly, people need
to be re-educated on what the law defines as aggressive, and on the limits of an
individual's right to impose one's preferred level of risk on others.
Applied Programs and Techniques in Driving
Driving psychology is an applied field that creates a popular language of behavioral
thinking about driving as a societal issue. This issue is complex and overlaps with
technical and non-technical intellectual environments. The theory and concepts of driving
psychology are adapted from several disciplines (James & Nahl, 1996a, b):
- Social psychology (e.g., schemas, scripts, attribution error, territoriality, etc.)
- Developmental psychology (e.g., stages of moral development, moral IQ, etc.)
- Health psychology (e.g., resistance to compliance, addictive behaviors, lifestyle
management, anger management, etc.)
- Applied psychology (e.g., driving behavior, risk homeostasis, ergonomics of errors,
- Traffic psychology (driver management, pedestrian behavior, traffic safety education,
- Clinical psychology (behavior self-modification of maladaptive habits, etc.)
- Traffic sociology (e.g., social conventions on highways, attitudes towards laws, etc.)
- Automotive medicine (e.g., seat belt and child restraint use, effect of cars on health,
- Transportation engineering (traffic calming devices, alternative transportation
Driving psychology principles and programs are cast in a popularized but scientific
language that is suitable for people of different educational level, age, and experience.
In order for driver management programs to be effective, the drivers involved must be
motivated to cooperate on their own. The desire for cooperation must stem from their
understanding and acceptance. Understanding must be instructed, and acceptance must be
won. The less the perception of coercion, the greater the need for voluntary compliance,
which depends on adequate understanding.
Driving psychology maintains an internal rhetoric of persuasion designed to empower
people to overcome their spontaneous inner resistance to its supportive principles.
Experiencing feelings of resistance to the principles of driving psychology is part of the
process since it involves self-assessment and self-modification. There is a natural and
predictable resistance to changing automatized sensorimotor habits. There is resistance to
changing one's cognitive norms of criticizing and blaming other drivers. There is
resistance to giving up affective norms of hostility and self-assertiveness as a driver.
Driving psychology focuses on these forms of internal resistance, and provides drivers
with socio-cultural methods for overcoming their own internal resistance to change.
Driving psychology employs several behavior management techniques:
- Behavioral and transactional engineering
- teaching principles of self-modification of behavior (short term and long term)
- developing databases of taxonomic inventories of affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor
driving habits across regions and time
- Group dynamic techniques for engineering new generational norms
- Kurt Lewingroup dynamic forces on personality change (Gold, 1999)
- Albert Ellisrational-emotive integration (Ellis & Powers, 1998) including
emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1996)
- L. Kohlberglevels of moral development (1976)
- Albert Bandurasocial influencing mechanisms in the self (1989)
- Behavioral assessment of skills
- Formative evaluation of learning or training
- Summative evaluation of instruction
- Testing of competencies and licensing
- Long term self-assessment procedures
- Mass media communications and interventions
- Content analysis of media portrayals of driving and their dissemination to the public to
increase peoples awareness of their potential harmful influence.
- Musicals and staged neighborhood or school productions to encourage positive role models
for young drivers and to allow them to explore the socio-moral dialectic of driving
- Radio call-in talk shows during heavy traffic hours to allow drivers a socially approved
mechanism for expressing complaints and for sharing solutions and advice.
- Making available Driving Informatics facilities in public libraries and the workplace to
satisfy peoples driving information needs (Nahl & James, 1999)
- Data-driven accountability
- Accident analysis and reconstruction
- Mandating standardized police record keeping on a regional or national basis
- Building national accident databases for scientists
- Building national, regional, and local data repositories obtained anonymously.
Driving Psychology Theory
In order to achieve significant reductions in crash, injury, and fatality statistics,
the focus on the individual must be strengthened. We developed driving psychology in
response to the urgent need for managing driving behavior in an industrialized society.
The increase in injuries and their cost is preventable, but it requires socio-cultural
interventions by government, social agencies, citizen organizations, and especially,
individuals. Law enforcement methods alone will not be totally effective because people
will revert to aggressive driving styles when detection can be avoided (Bjornskau &
Elvik, 1992). Compliance is dependent on constant surveillance.
Internal methods for managing drivers attitudes and habits of thinking can be
used to influence driving norms. Driving psychology provides the theory and methods for
creating this type of internal influence by securing the voluntary cooperation and support
of drivers for lifelong self-improvement activities. These internal methods can be fully
effective in the long run if they are incorporated into the personality and moral
philosophy of each driver. Internal influence cannot be coerced since drivers can fake
attitudes to comply with tests or inspections. As soon as surveillance is withdrawn or
eluded, the negative attitude asserts itself in freedom. Therefore, internal influence is
possible only through the voluntary cooperation of each individual. This can be engineered
by means of the social influence process that naturally occurs in support groups (Quality
Driving Circles (QDCs) (James & Nahl, 2000a). Long term membership in such groups
reduces resistance to change and builds enthusiasm for practicing supportive driving
scripts, schemas, roles, and norms.
The external view on driving includes road conditions and vehicle manipulation. Data on
these is obtainable from instruments, measurements, and observer evaluation. The internal
view on driving is the perspective of the drivers themselves: their sensations,
perceptions, verbalizations, thoughts, decisions, emotions, and feelings. Data on these
live aspects of the behavior of drivers cannot be obtained by instruments, nor by an
observer. Instead, some method must be devised by which the drivers can make records of
their on-going perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. Our method is to obtain
self-witnessing reports made by drivers who talk out loud into a tape recorder while they
are driving (James, 1986). These concurrent reports are superior to retrospective reports
obtained by interviewing or testing drivers (Ericsson & Simon, 1984; Bloom &
Broder, 1950). After-the fact data depend on recollection and other distortions, while
concurrent reports allow drivers to label thoughts and emotions as they occur, thus
increasing the reliability, validity, and comprehensiveness of the report.
Three Domains of Driving Behavior: Affective,
Since Aristotle, philosophers and educators have agreed that human capacities are
organized into three distinct areas corresponding to the threefold human nature: the will,
the understanding, and the actions of an individual. Modern psychologists also function
within this threefold system of behavior (Bloom et al., 1956; Krathwohl et al.; 1964;
Geller & Ludwig, 1990; Jakobovits & Nahl-Jakobovits, 1987). Affective behavior
includes the will, feelings, motives, needs, values, preferences and anything that
pertains to the goal-directedness of people's actions.
For example, signaling before changing lanes is a sensorimotor behavior embedded in an
affective context: the driver is motivated to avoid errors. In the absence of this
affective motive, drivers commit errors and fail to signal. Learning to maintain the
motive to avoid driving errors is an important affective driving skill. Frequently,
affective driving errors occur when conflict between motives is experienced, as when a
driver is in a hurry and speeds. The feeling of wanting to be cautious and law abiding is
weakened by the feeling of time pressure or urgency.
Cognitive behavior includes understanding, thoughts, strategies, judgments and anything
that pertains to the decision-making and analytic aspects of people's actions. For
example, signaling before changing lanes is not only embedded in an affective
(motivational) context, but also in a cognitive context. The driver processes information
with common sense logic. Learning to make correct judgments in routine driving incidents
is an important cognitive driving skill (Schuster, 1978). Frequently, cognitive driving
errors occur when an illogical sequence of interpretation leads to an incorrect decision,
for instance: "I know there is nobody behind me, therefore I won't bother signaling
this time." This erroneous decision overlooks several factors that should be taken
into account: "There may be somebody in my blind spot" or "There may be
somebody from the front that might turn in" or "There may be a policeman
watching," etc. A comprehensive theory of driving behavior has the capacity to
identify correct and incorrect decision-making, and specify how cognitions interact with
affections to produce overt acts.
Sensorimotor (or psychomotor) behavior includes all experience that is mediated through
sensory and motor channels. For example, signaling before changing lanes is a complex
psychomotor action involving eye-hand coordination, motor readiness to apply the brakes if
needed, checking mirrors, twisting of neck to look over the shoulder, breathing changes,
and less visible physiological reactions. As well, silent or overt verbalizations may
occur (e.g., "Oops, I didn't see that car!" or "OK, now, watch out for that
car"). A realistic driving theory includes the specification of the sequence of
sensorimotor actions of drivers and how these are influenced by the concurrent affective
and cognitive behaviors (James & Nahl, 1988).
Driving psychology defines driving behavior in terms of these three inter-related
domains of human behavior. Driver education and training need to explicitly address each
of the three domains of driving behavior (James, Nahl & Nerenberg, 1998). Different
instructional activities are needed for acquiring driving competence in each of the three
domains. Similarly, when testing the competence of drivers, all three domains must be
assessed by suitable and valid quiz items (James & Nahl, 1988).
Driving is a complex of behaviors acting together as cultural norms transmitted by
parents, other adults, books, movies, TV. Driving inherently involves taking risks, making
errors, and losing emotional self-control. Drivers need training in risk taking, error
recovery, and emotional control under emergency or provocation conditions. Driving norms
exist in three domains: affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor.
The primary affective driving norms are:
- Valuing territoriality, dominance, and competition as a desirable driving style
- Condoning intolerance of diversity (in needs and competencies of other drivers)
- Supporting retribution ethics (or vigilante motives with desire to punish or amend)
- Social acceptance of impulsivity and risk taking in driving
- Condoning aggressiveness, disrespect, and the expression of hostility
These affective norms are negative and anti-social. Socio-cultural methods must be used
to reduce the attractiveness of these aggressive norms and to increase the attractiveness
of positive and cooperative driver roles.
The primary cognitive driving norms are:
- Inaccurate risk assessment
- Biased and self-serving explanations of driving incidents
- Lack of emotional intelligence as a driver (Goleman, 1986)
- Low or underdeveloped level of moral involvement (dissociation and egotism)
These cognitive norms are inaccurate and inadequate. Self-training and self-improvement
techniques must be taught so that drivers can better manage risk and regulate their own
The primary sensorimotor driving norms are:
- Automatized habits (unselfconscious or unaware of ones style and risk habits)
- Errors of perception (e.g., distance, speed, initiating wrong action)
- Lapses (in attention or performance due to fatigue, sleepiness, pain, drugs, boredom,
inadequate training or preparation)
These sensorimotor norms are inadequate and immature. Lifelong driver self-improvement
exercises are necessary to reach more competent habits of driving.
Obtaining a drivers license cannot be considered the end of driver training.
Continued driver training in the form of guided lifelong self-improvement activities is
essential for acquiring new skills. New skills are needed as driving gets more complex:
- Reading maps on screens
- Using computers
- Note taking
- Talking on phone
- Allocating adequate driving time
- Coping with hostility
The new driving norms that socio-cultural methods create will be spontaneously adopted
by the current generation of children. Individualistic and competitive expectations lead
drivers to be aggressive and hostile towards other road users. This aggressive frame of
mind can generalize to other interactive settings such as the workplace and the family,
creating higher stress and greater conflict. Similarly, the more supportive expectations
can be expected to generalize to other social settings, creating less stress and conflict,
and more satisfaction and calm. Thus, driving psychology is also a health-enhancing
The enormous driving challenge that is facing our society today can become an
opportunity for strengthening the community and evolving more humane and compassionate
relations. Instead of mutual antagonism, we can express mutual support. Supportive driving
styles can help us make peace on our highways, streets and parking lots. We must, or else
we will see an increase of hostile behavior in public places, such as parking lot rage,
pedestrian rage, bicyclists rage, air rage, sports rage, neighbor rage, and so on. Let's
not go that route! And yet more and more people will be tempted to slide into these
dangerous forms of behavior due to social imitation and emotional contagion.
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