TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Cutting in and weaving, speeding, and
hostile displays are among the top online complaints posted by drivers,
according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
(CAMH) recently published in an online issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Driver aggression is a major safety concern and researchers estimate
this behaviour is a factor in nearly half of all motor vehicle
collisions. Identifying the underlying causes and strategies for
preventing driver aggression continues to be a priority.
CAMH researcher Dr. Christine Wickens reviewed thousands of entries
posted on RoadRagers.com, a website that invites drivers to submit complaints about unsafe and
Following a previous study evaluating complaints submitted to the
Ontario Provincial Police, Dr. Wickens turned her attention towards the
crop of new websites that ask drivers to describe the unsafe driving
practices they've observed.
"These websites can tell us more about what people are doing out there
in the real world," she explained.
Dr. Wickens, a post-doctoral fellow with CAMH's Social and
Epidemiological Research Department, and her colleagues evaluated more
than 5,000 entries posted on RoadRagers.com between 1999 and 2007. The team sorted the complaints — which consisted
mostly of reports on driving in Canada and the U.S. — into various
categories, including: speeding/racing, erratic/improper braking and
The most common complaints involved cutting in and weaving (54 per cent
of all complaints), speeding (29 per cent) and hostile displays (25 per
The research team also discussed how slighted drivers might feel
compelled to retaliate or 'teach other drivers a lesson.' In some
extreme cases, one reckless action can escalate into a hostile
situation between multiple drivers.
The next step in the research will be to examine how slighted drivers
perceive the offensive actions of another motorist: Is the other driver
in a rush, negligent, or deliberately aggressive? How do these
different interpretations affect how we respond?
With this in mind, Dr. Wickens advises drivers to work hard at keeping
cool behind the wheel.
"Remind yourself to take a deep breath, stay calm, and do whatever it
takes to bring your anger down," she said.
Dr. Wickens also suggested that educating drivers during their training
on the most common complaints might help them realize the impact of
their actions and avoid these types of behaviours. The training
could also teach drivers to be aware of their own responses associated
with behaviours they encounter on the road.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest
mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the
world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical
care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to
help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and
CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan
American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating
Centre. For more information, please visit www.camh.ca.
SOURCE: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
For further information:
Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416-595-6015 or firstname.lastname@example.org