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Contributing Factors To Aggressive Drivers

The items on the following list are from multiples sources that can contribute to the incidence of aggressive driving compiled by NHTSA.

  • Increased congestion on roadways;
  • Running late, too many obligations;
  • Anonymity provided by a closed vehicle;
  • Disregard for others and the law;
  • Chronic or pathological anger;
  • Traffic jams caused by construction zones with little or no work going on;
  • Fewer mental health services available than in the past;
  • Violent video games;
  • Violent films and television programs;
  • Increased levels of intrapersonal and interpersonal stress, including stress associated with employment, two-career families, familial relationships, child-care issues, elder-care issues, and fundamental economic and technological changes in society;
  • Loud, thumping music on the car radio while driving;
  • The need to “save face”and overcome feelings of being disrespected by another driver;
  • The need to assert one’s identity and maintain control in a situation where one fears losing control;
  • A cultural focus on “time”as a limited resource, including concerns about “saving time,”“using time wisely,”“being on time,” and “time is money”
  • A human need for “space”that causes some drivers to be territorial about infringements on their space;
  • The summer heat;
  • Popular culture’s focus on machismo and masculinity;
  • Increased immigration trends leading to a mixture of different driving styles;
  • A widespread increase in interpersonal violence, including murder, domestic abuse, and street crime;
  • A focus on individualism that produces a “me first”mentality;
  • Oppressive social conditions that produce feelings of alienation in individuals;
  • Slow drivers (especially in the “fast lane”);
  • Defensive driving habits that produce an inflated concern about the poor driving skills of others;
  • A lower emotional intelligence and moral character than exhibited in past societies;
  • An innate human drive to aggression;
  • Decreased drivers education in schools;
  • Reduced levels of traffic enforcement;
  • Ignorance about the “rules of the road”
  • Dehumanization of the other;
  • An attempt to attain power in an otherwise powerless existence;
  • Increased commuting distances and durations;
  • Fewer people relying on mass transit and more relying on cars;
  • An increased sense of invincibility behind the wheel of a 3,000-pound vehicle;
  • A cultural propensity to promote and reward competitive, tenacious, and aggressive behavior; and,
  • An individual propensity to perceive one’s vehicle as an extension of oneself.

 

Information provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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