While attending presentations and interviewing sources at last week's SAE World Congress in Detroit (the fruits of which will continue to be posted on Automotive DesignLine in the coming days and weeks), the unusual title of one paper caught my eye: Vehicle Type and Road Rage (SAE 2005-01-0429). I thought here might be some correlation between certain brands of cars and the propensity of their owners toward boorish behavior.
Upon opening the paper, I saw that the study forming the basis of the report was done in Canada. Canada? That's right. Perhaps I'm being naïve, but, except for hockey fights, I tend to think of Canadians as being somewhat laid back and not prone to such excesses on the highway.
At any rate, the authors concluded that frequent "road ragers" are young males and more often drivers of trucks and vans. While commercial truckers were not broken out in the group, the researchers felt truckers' more stressful driving, long hours, and schedule concerns contributed to the tendency to rage. They offered that much could be done to help truckers using vehicle modifications or changes in their driving requirements. Across all vehicle types, "stressful" driving produced more road rage incidents.
Let us know (by going to our Forums section) if you think anything can be done with technology to cut down on road rage.