#269 – Aggressive Driving

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269-291 Aggressive Driving

Based on research by Nelson, Nancy G., Dell’Oliver, C., Koch, C., & Buckler, Robert (2001) written by Bethany L. Wellman, MS.

Aggressive driving contributes to 1/3 of motor vehicle accidents. Does personality help explain the behavior?

Researchers investigated the relationship among driver personality, aggressive driving, and driver performance. For over 300 persons, they examined five personality factors and the driver’s anger.  Results showed a person’s emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness and driving anger predicted aggressive driving.  The most outstanding finding indicated that the higher the driver’s anger and the lower their agreeableness, the more aggressive driving.  Not surprisingly, aggressive driving was positively related to both car accidents and road violations.

So, if a person experiences a great deal of anger when driving, lacks a general flexibility and courtesy, lacks conscientiousness of their responsibilities, or has some instability in their emotions, they are much more likely to be an aggressive driver and thus create more accidents and road violations.

Before you drive, take a minute to relax, rid yourself of negative emotions, keep your cool, and take a larger perspective that everyone wants to be safe, yet people make mistakes.  Remember that nobody likes dealing with crazy traffic…it just might save your or someone else’s life.

Be safe out there y’all!



Dahlen, E. R., Edwards, B. D., Tubre, T., Zyphur, M. J., & Warren, C. R. (2012). Taking a look behind the wheel: An investigation into the personality predictors of aggressive driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention45, 1-9. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2011.11.012

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