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Reducing aggression on our roads : testing a comprehensive model of aggressive driving

Shaw, Lauren (2011) Reducing aggression on our roads : testing a comprehensive model of aggressive driving. In 10th National Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, 2-4 November 2011, Brisbane. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Background: Trauma resulting from traffic crashes poses a significant problem in highly motorised countries. Over a million people worldwide are killed annually and 50 million are critically injured as a result of traffic collisions. In Australia, road crashes cost an average of $17 billion annually in personal loss of income and quality of life, organisational losses in productivity and workplace quality, and health care costs. Driver aggression has been identified as a key factor contributing to crashes, and many motorists report experiencing mild forms of aggression (e.g., rude gestures, horn honking). However despite this concern, driver aggression has received relatively little attention in empirical research, and existing research has been hampered by a number of methodological and conceptual shortcomings. Specifically, there has been substantial disagreement regarding what constitutes aggressive driving and a failure to examine both the situational factors and the emotional and cognitive processes underlying driver aggression. To enhance current understanding of aggressive driving, a model of driver aggression that highlights the cognitive and emotional processes at play in aggressive driving incidents is proposed. Aims: The research aims to improve current understanding of the complex nature of driver aggression by testing and refining a model of aggressive driving that incorporates the person-related and situational factors and the cognitive and emotional appraisal processes fundamental to driver aggression. In doing so, the research will assist to provide a clear definition of what constitutes aggressive driving, assist to identify on-road incidents that trigger driver aggression, and identify the emotional and cognitive appraisal processes that underlie driver aggression. Methods: The research involves three studies. Firstly, to contextualise the model and explore the cognitive and emotional aspects of driver aggression, a diary-based study using self-reports of aggressive driving events will be conducted with a general population of drivers. This data will be supplemented by in-depth follow-up interviews with a sub-sample of participants. Secondly, to test generalisability of the model, a large sample of drivers will be asked to respond to video-based scenarios depicting driving contexts derived from incidents identified in Study 1 as inciting aggression. Finally, to further operationalise and test the model an advanced driving simulator will be used with sample of drivers. These drivers will be exposed to various driving scenarios that would be expected to trigger negative emotional responses. Results: Work on the project has commenced and progress on the first study will be reported.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 48807
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: Aggressive driving, Transport, Road safety
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 23 Feb 2012 16:01
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2012 16:01

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