We designed this survey to give us information on DrDriving's main claim, namely that
rage is a "culture tantrum" and by which we mean that we are all aggressive
behind the wheel at some time, some drivers less than others. To us this looks like a cultural norm, a habit we learn from childhood through parents,
commercials, movies, and the general
people like to use when it comes to
We love automobiles
and we've just completed our first century of car society. There is
nothing wrong with loving cars and talking about them, and fussing
with them, and paying out big money for them. At least I think there
is nothing wrong with that. It's our culture, our tradition, our
convenience, our freedom, our romance -- see my
analysis of car songs.
But things have gone wrong in an extremely important and critical way and we must
immediately address this problem which has reached epidemic proportions and is
our traditional love of cars and our loyalty to car society. Think about it:
Every year in the US this is happening on highways with vehicles driven by people:
40,000 (forty thousand) dead
6 million crashes, each one with
consequences (medical, psychological, economic, spiritual)
250 billion dollars in cost to
society (medical, lost wages and productivity, repairs, funerals)
trillions of negative exchanges
between the 177 million drivers who get into big time fights (1200
each year--shot or battered), and
of small time fights (insulting each other, scaring one
another, hating one another and breathing revenge dozens of times
in a half-hour commute)
Society's response has been to initiate
However many people feel that we can't keep increasing this kind
of activity to saturation point without fundamentally altering our
democratic society -- especially because the
fatality rate nationally has remained at around 40,000 and the
injury rate at around 6 million, annually.
It's essential therefore to tackle the problem through a generational effort that
involves a grassroots movement for
lifelong driver's education through various means that
are available to us.
testimony to congress as expert witness on aggressive driving,
I have specified and
recommended several approaches, including:
We need parents to be involved with their children to prevent them from growing up as the
next generation of aggressive drivers. We need civic organizations and membership clubs
such as CARR and
MADD and the others now active.
We are in need of a fundamental resurgence and extension of driver's education and the value
of personal driving standards. I think this is happening already due to the aggressive
driving epidemic. The phenomenon is worldwide. And yet it is such a new social problem
that we don't know much about it in an internal way, that is, from the perspective of the
thoughts and feelings of drivers behind the wheel.
It's very important that we collect
data on the thoughts and feelings of drivers, not just their visible actions. The overt,
visible action is always preceded by internal events, namely, thoughts, feelings,
attitudes, knowledge, emotions, moods.
Driving psychology is this knowledge. We all need
driving psychology in addition to safety education.
Survey data do not tell us the same thing as cumulative
within a QDC. But they are indicative of how people perceive the issues and how they try
to cope with them. Surveys tell us about
how drivers reason
what conclusions they reach
what their intentions are
what they are inclined to do
what they oppose
and so on.
allow comparisons across geographical locations and across population segments, as well as
across time, to see changes that might occur in one location.
More in our book excerpts
|| See also: Articles on Aggressive
Driving and Related Topics