Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Transportation Science

Road Rage Linked To Automobile Bumper Stickers 1065

Posted by kdawson
from the jesus-loves-you-now-back-off dept.
Ponca City, We Love You sends news of a study by Colorado State University psychologist William Szlemko that recorded whether people had added seat covers, bumper stickers, special paint jobs, stereos, or plastic dashboard toys to their cars. Szlemko found a link between road rage and the number of personalized items on or in people's vehicles. "The number of territory markers predicted road rage better than vehicle value, condition, or any of the things that we normally associate with aggressive driving,' says Szlemko. What's more, only the number of bumper stickers, and not their content, predicted road rage... Szlemko suggests that this territoriality may encourage road rage because drivers are simultaneously in a private space (their car) and a public one (the road). 'We think they are forgetting that the public road is not theirs, and are exhibiting territorial behavior that normally would only be acceptable in personal space,' the researcher says.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Road Rage Linked To Automobile Bumper Stickers

Comments Filter:
  • in other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by siddesu (698447) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:59AM (#23820613)
    tasteless people behave in tasteless manner. still no cure for cancer though.
    • by chooks (71012) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:39AM (#23821211)

      I think I saw that phrase on a bumper sticker....

      • Re:in other news (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sm62704 (957197) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @09:09AM (#23822061) Journal
        I'm going to get a bumper sticker that says "get the fuck out of my way, asshole!"

        Seriously, though, I have no bumper stickers, seat covers, personalized anything on my car. However, I'm prone to curse at idiots in traffic (they can't hear me, of course) especially when they threaten my life.

        Tami always bitches about my "road rage" even though it has no effect except to let me let off steam. Is this road rage, or do you have to do something like zoom around someone and cut them off, flip them the bird, or otherwise let them know that they have annoyed you for it to be road rage?

        I think Tami doesn't know the difference between rage and annoyance.
        • Re:in other news (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Alpha830RulZ (939527) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @10:27AM (#23822973)
          I think action is the defining characteristic of road rage. No action, no harm, no foul. FTA, the point is that you recognize that the inside of your car is your space, but that the road is shared space. Road Ragers don't acknowledge that second point.

          I have no bumper stickers. After having been on the receiving end of three road rage attacks/incidents, involving people following me and physically threatening violence, I now carry a .40 S&W. For any of you that think it's OK to confront someone who doesn't drive in a manner convenient for you, consider that.
          • Re:in other news (Score:5, Insightful)

            by phulegart (997083) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @12:39PM (#23824957)
            You really need to rethink this whole topic.

            Action is not the defining characteristic of road rage. Action is the end result regarding road rage. Long before Johnny decides he's had enough and he's gonna take what he deems to be appropriate action for his emotional state on the road, he's been yelling, swerving, swearing, and in general expressing his displeasure at not getting his way on the road. People experience and express road rage long before they ever take any "action".

            Of course, "action" can be defined as many different things. Is waving a gun at you through my driver's side window considered to be an action? I'm not leaving my personal space, I'm not driving erratically, I'm not swearing or cursing you out, and I'm not tailgating you. I'm just pissed that you passed me on the right and swerved in front of me. So I decide to remind you that this kind of activity might get you shot if it continues, by waving my gun at you. Is what I have done road rage? You bet. I can even get arrested for it.

            If you have been on the receiving end of three road rage attacks/incidents... you need to reexamine how you drive. I always drive the speed limit, and although I'm usually the only one on the road doing so, I've never in my 39 years (23 on the road) been on the receiving end of a road rage attack. Sure, people might have gotten angry at me driving 55 or 65 or 35, etc... but nobody honked or yelled or shook a fist. You are apparently driving in a manner that not only pisses people off, but is annoying enough to prompt people into taking action against you. But just be aware. If three people ACTUALLY took action against you, how many more WANTED to take action against you?

            Road "ragers" say it is the fault of the morons on the road who can't drive properly. Victims of road rage blame it on the person expressing the rage. Neither party realizes that they are both at fault and both need fix their attitudes and actions while on the road. The rest of us are tired of the nonsense.
        • by evilandi (2800) <andrew@aoakley.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @11:49AM (#23824133) Homepage

          I'm going to get a bumper sticker that says "get the fuck out of my way, asshole!"
          Why? Do you spend a lot of your time driving in reverse gear?

  • Not hard (Score:5, Funny)

    by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:11AM (#23820655) Homepage Journal
    This problem's not hard,
    And for societal win,
    To irresponsible retard:
    A safe, simple Schwinn
    Burma Shave
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Grrrrr - cyclist retard!

      Seriously, though - cycling is safe if you follow the Highway Code and take sensible precautions, like: not running red lights, looking behind you before passing parked cars, remembering that people in cars aren't that bothered about your safety, etc., etc.

      As a car driver, I can't see that it's my responsibility to anticipate that a cyclist will pull out to pass a parked car without looking to see if I'm approaching at 18 mph faster than him - it's your life, and your safety.

      Oh, and

      • Re:Not hard (Score:4, Insightful)

        by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:32AM (#23820775) Homepage Journal
        The point was that if people are too challenged by the responsibility of getting behind the wheel, then we should keep ratcheting down their transportation options until we find a level where they can safely operate.
        If a bicycle proves too great a burden, then let a man walk.
        And if he can't walk without being a menace, let him sit in the corner.
        I'm speaking in hyperbole, but the whole dependent mentality of no-one being accountable for crappy behavior is one of the more destructive threads in society.
        • Re:Not hard (Score:4, Insightful)

          by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:41AM (#23820837)
          I totally agree - everyone should be responsible for their own actions.

          Personally, I practice 'defensive driving', but that should not be interpreted as 'meek' - in a lot of situations, being assertive actually prevents other road users from entering a potentially dangerous situation.

          I do still wish that cyclists were taught to ride as I was in the '70s - the roads would be much safer for all.

  • by Psiren (6145) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:13AM (#23820669)
    Here in the UK you rarely see bumper stickers, yet road rage is not exactly rare. So I don't really see the correlation. Having said that, whenever I see the Jesus fish on the back of a car, I do want to run it off the road on general principle. But maybe that's just me.
    • by aproposofwhat (1019098) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:25AM (#23820727)
      It's not the fish, it's the driving style.

      They pull out in front of you, drive at <speed limit> - 5 mph, and wonder why you're driving up their sanctimonious arse honking and flashing!

      Bastards, the lot of them.

      And they always double park on a Sunday when they get their weekly dose of self-flagellation.

      Did Jesus say 'Pick up thy bed and drive'? I think not :P

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Idimmu Xul (204345)
      Apparently 'not exactly rare' is an understatement. According to the beeb [bbc.co.uk] almost 90% of UK drivers have reported incidents of road rage (I don't drive and rarely travel by car so have no idea what the mean streets of Britain are really like). I'm not sure what that really covers though, being run off the road? Sworn at? And is that ever? Across the entire span of someone's life? Is road rage in the UK really *that* bad?

      --
      Free Playstation 3, XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii [free-toys.co.uk]
    • by Zocalo (252965) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:42AM (#23821237) Homepage

      Whenever I see the Jesus fish on the back of a car, I do want to run it off the road on general principle

      If you can catch one parked up I find it much more satisfying to draw little legs under it with a dry marker and give it a "Darwin is right!" caption. Sometimes you'll see the same car going around for *weeks* before they notice and clean it off. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197)
      whenever I see the Jesus fish on the back of a car, I do want to run it off the road on general principle

      You know, It's very, very rare that a religious person (Chrustian, Jew, Hindu, whatever) tries to shove his beliefs down my throat. For instance, I don't believe I've ever had a Catholic berate me for using birth control, never had a Jew or Muslim tell me I was going to hell for eating a ham sandwich, never had a Bhuddist curse me for swatting a fly, in fact seldom do I ever hear religious people talk of
  • Seen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meta slash (633499) * on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:22AM (#23820707)
    Don't drive as if you own the road ... Drive as if you own the car.
  • by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:32AM (#23820781) Homepage
    I walk past a car at my work's parking lot that has Bush stickers all over it. I have fantasies about keying the holy living shit out of that car as I pass it. I don't DO it - I don't really know how to key a car, never having done it before, and I can control my impulses.

    Not everyone can control their impulses.
    • by n3tcat (664243) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:50AM (#23821287) Homepage
      You key a car the same way you unlock it...

      except you miss.
    • by ScentCone (795499) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:54AM (#23821321)
      I walk past a car at my work's parking lot that has Bush stickers all over it. I have fantasies about keying the holy living shit out of that car as I pass it.

      Well, that about sums it up, doesn't it? Your actual desire, when someone else expresses their opinion, is to be violent. My desire, when I see a car loaded up with "random acts of beauty," "peace happens," and "war is not the answer" stickers is to actually talk to the platitude-dealing pollyanna involved and get a sense of how they think, for exmaple, that their random acts of beauty and kindness might change a local Taliban franchise's boss into someone who no longer likes to kill women showing up to work as a teacher and showing young girls how to read. How was "war not the answer" when Germany was rolling over Europe? How exactly was peace going to "happen" in the Balkans as Muslims were being ethnically "cleansed" from their villages with Serbian machine guns?

      Unlike you, whose first instinct - however well reigned in for fear of being caught - is to vandalize the property of someone you hate, I'm more inclined to either roll my eyes, or actually communicate. I do appreciate your so nicely illustrating the shrill, tantrum-like thought process that drives so much of the politics on the left. It's entirely about rudderless emotions, drama, and cheap, sophomoric, fair-weather outrage that's anything but constructive... and shows that the pretense of disliking partisanship is completely disengenuous. It's true of you, and it's true of the current presidential candidate from the left. Hot air. It's not about getting anything done, it's entirely about how much you don't like someone else. "Change We Can Believe In" is the most empty bit of meaningless rhetoric I've ever heard, since it avoids, at all costs, any actual specificity lest the people that utter it get caught showing the real foundation of their idealogy. No need to of course, since the portrait you painted of how your brain works when exposed to nothing more than the name of a political opponent handily demonstrates the actual nature of most political thinking on the left: it's about actual hate, or about craven pandering to that hate as a way to power.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Theaetetus (590071)

        Unlike you, whose first instinct - however well reigned in for fear of being caught - is to vandalize the property of someone you hate, I'm more inclined to either roll my eyes, or actually communicate.

        Really? Let's see...

        ...platitude-dealing pollyanna... change a local Taliban franchise's boss... Germany was rolling over Europe? ... ethnically "cleansed"... roll my eyes... shrill, tantrum-like thought process... rudderless emotions, drama, and cheap, sophomoric, fair-weather outrage that's anything but constructive... disengenuous... Hot air... empty bit of meaningless rhetoric... get caught... how your brain works... actual hate... craven pandering

        So, it appears that your "actual communication" is nothing more than ad hominems and strawmen. You didn't say a single word of substance in that entire paragraph.

        • by corbettw (214229) <corbettw@noSpAm.yahoo.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @09:32AM (#23822329) Journal
          Calling someone a "platitude-dealing pollyanna" is not an ad hominem when it's true.

          Asking a person how their espoused philosophy would deal with thugs and tyrants in the real world is not a strawman.

          And so forth and so on.

          Oh, and you should look up ad logicam sometime.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Theaetetus (590071)

            Calling someone a "platitude-dealing pollyanna" is not an ad hominem when it's true.

            Was the great-grandparent poster actually spouting platitudes?
            No. Only the grandparent, who was putting words in the other's mouth and then denigrating him for them.
            Was the great-grandparent poster a Pollyanna? Either a small teenage girl, or the colloquial form as a blind optimist?
            No.

            So, what about it was "true", as you so nicely put it?

            And so forth and so on.

            Pot to kettle: stfu.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sm62704 (957197)
        I do appreciate your so nicely illustrating the shrill, tantrum-like thought process that drives so much of the politics on the left

        And I appreciate your so nicely illustrating the propensity of both your sides to equate everyone with beliefs different than yours as being the same as all others in their camp. The fact is that a lot of people on both sides want to kill anyone with differring opinions, and other people on both sides would rather have reasonable discourse.

        Don't judge all liberals (or all conse
  • by Dan East (318230) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:36AM (#23820817) Homepage Journal
    This is very helpful information. Now I'll know which vehicles my wife should keep the gun trained on.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:39AM (#23820825) Homepage Journal
    as a cyclist I lack opportunities for such displays of wit(I guess I could use my backpack), but if I did, it would have to read:

    "The size of ones genitals is inversely proportional to the size of ones vehicle"

    The best part is that SUV drivers would run out of fuel before they could even catch up!
  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:41AM (#23820839) Homepage
    ...are the cause. People see "Vote George Bush 2004" and see red.

    Now, that's why I don't put political bumper stickers on my car. Obama, Hillary, or McCain, I don't care. I don't need some nut-job running me down because he doesn't like my choice of candidate.

    (Plus, it'll spoil the purdy paint.)

  • who have a psychotic need to display their politics so aggressively

    i'm talking about the people with 4-5 bumper stickers, all stridently ideological

    of course you are entitled to be proud of your beliefs, but if you are radioactively evangelical about them, then i am 100% certain that your mind is completely closed and your brain dead hack partisanship is total

    on the other hand, you can be assured no one will want to borrow or steal your car... although these bumper sticker hordes are usually stuck on a 15 year old rust eaten subcompact
  • by threaded (89367) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:53AM (#23820915) Homepage
    Ixthus fish and a Volvo badge: that combination is my number one worry when I'm out on a bike.
    • by Otter (3800) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @09:20AM (#23822207) Journal
      As a bicycle commuter, my experience has been exactly what's reported here: lousy driving is a function of the quantity and vehemence of bumper stickers, not of the precise content.

      The Hummer covered in American flags and ribbon magnets for every armed service (because, y'know, the driver was in the Army, Marines and Air Force simultaneously) and the Forester with the "SMASH FAITH-BASED FASCISM" and "HOW MANY IRAQIS PER GALLON" stickers (because, y'know, Subarus burn rage, not gasoline like those awful SUVs) are equally likely to make a right turn through the bike lane without looking.

  • by spottedkangaroo (451692) * on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:53AM (#23820917) Homepage
    Did they study the effects of going 45 in a 55?

    Did they study the effects of drifting along and not passing while in the passing lane on a limited access highway (a 2 point ticket, called disrupting the flow of traffic, in most states)?

    I mean, really, if you did these things on foot you'd get, "Um, excuse me" and "right behindja," and "sorry there, ah, commin through."

    The real source of road rage is not being able to say, "excuse me." It frustrates humans because we need to be able to express ourselves. We're pack animals and the cars isolate us.

    My hunch is that inconsiderate behavior is a better predictor than bumper stickers. I haven't done a study though. Could be wrong. (Ignore my sig it's a joke.)

    • by mh1997 (1065630) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:20AM (#23821079)

      The real source of road rage is not being able to say, "excuse me." It frustrates humans because we need to be able to express ourselves.
      Several years ago, I read of a study that looked into this and there conclusion was the same as yours.

      You can sort of test this yourself while walking. While walking down the street, step in front of another pedestrian (cut them off) and then keep walking, you'll hear negative comments. Do the same thing, but then apologize and the person you cut off will act like it was their fault.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)
      The real source of road rage is not being able to say, "excuse me."

      I think cars should come with a purple light(since it's not used for anything else) for exactly that purpose.
  • /. sigs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nadaou (535365) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:44AM (#23821253) Homepage
    has anyone noticed the connection between /. sigs and a likelihood of the poster to respond to trolls?
  • No no no no (Score:5, Funny)

    by gelfling (6534) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @08:07AM (#23821409) Homepage Journal
    Road rage is caused by me being unable to shoot you in the head for being such an asshole. Attention shitheads here are the things you should avoid:

    Driving a white Buick 25mph under the speed limit.
    Slowing down when I'm behind you and speeding up when I try to pass.
    Being shorter than the dashboard.
    Zoning out at a green light.
    Goosing the throttle on your Harley you fat fuck.
    A ricer wing bigger than Mexico.
    Passing me on a one lane highway ramp.
    Stopping, yes stopping at the end of a merge ramp on to the highway you redneck motherfucker.
    Waiting for a half mile of no traffic in both directions to make a left turn.
    Green light, asshole, it's not getting any greener.
  • by hal9000(jr) (316943) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @08:15AM (#23821493)
    I shall not want.
  • by samael (12612) * <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @08:52AM (#23821847) Homepage
    When you're simultaneously in a private space (your home) and a public one (possibly the most public space ever).
  • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @09:54PM (#23833641)
    In Australia if you pay a LOT more than the usual road registration you get to put just about whatever you like on the plate. I find it bizzare that people with their names clearly marked on the back of the car do stupid things that will cost them a lot in fines if they get caught, but I suppose it's part of the territorial thing. It's a good rule of thumb here to give people in european cars with personalised plates a bit of extra space so their stupidity doesn't get you as well.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly

Working...