Report 2:

My Understanding of Driving Psychology

By Jenine Goto

Instructions for this report are at:

www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/409a-g23-report2.htm

I am answering Questions 2, 3, 4, 5, & 7

 

 

 

The Question I am answering is Question 2

Question 2:

(a) Give a brief review of our two textbooks: Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (James and Nahl), and Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer (Peter Rothe, Editor). The reviews should be between 3 and 6 paragraphs for each text.

(b) Select one Chapter from each text and give a summary of it.

(c) Discuss in what way these ideas will contribute to solving society's driving problems.

(d) Any other comments you wish to make.

 

 

Response:

(a)  Review of our two textbooks: Road Rage and Aggressive Driving (James and Nahl), and Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer (Peter Rothe, Editor).

            The first book, Road Rage and Aggressive Driving written by Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl, was a very detailed and revealing book for the informed driver.  The book covers the very many different aspects of road rage, from its contributing factors to solutions for curbing the habit.  It also covers the importance of the concepts of driving psychology and of becoming a supportive driver.

            The first section of the book is called “The Conflict Mentality,” which covers chapters 1-4.  This section talks about road rage and aggressive driving as a world wide phenomenon and the very many different factors that can contribute to arousing a person’s anger and give rise to aggression or road rage.  This section also includes a few exercises relevant to the material and descriptions for some different types of road rage, verbal, passive-aggressive, and epic to name a few.

            The second section of the book is titled “Driving Psychology,” which covers chapters 5-9.  This section talks about the psychological perspective on driving and includes the Three-Step Driver Self-Improvement Program, as a possible solution to road rage and aggression.  Also featured in this section is a chapter discussing children and road rage and Dr. James’ concept of supportive driving and its benefits.  This section also includes a number of exercises, one of which is discussed in question 5 of this report.

            The third and final section of this book is called “The Future of Driving,” which covers chapters 10-12.  The main focus of this section is to inform the reader of the actions being taken by the government and different institutions in the war against aggressive driving.  It also covers a few issues such as speed limits and traffic surveillance.  The concluding chapter of this section talks about the benefits of luxury vehicles and some of their features such as mini-microwaves, mobile computing, and intelligent transportation systems.

 

            The second text, Driving Lessons: Exploring the Systems that Make Traffic Safer, was a compilation of 20 chapters by various researchers and driving psychology experts and edited by J. Peter Rothe, with one common interest: to improve and promote safety on the road for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and truck drivers.  This book contained a number of different innovations in traffic safety and research towards refining the many solutions proposed.

            This book was also divided into three sections.  The first is “Personal Sub-Systems,” which focuses on the effects of neurobehavioral variables, innovations in injury control, and the subject of dealing with stress while driving, and ways you can help yourself to deal with it in a positive way.  It also covers social influences on the way you drive, risky vehicles, road safety for young children, and driver identities.

            The second section is called “Institutional Sub-Systems,” which focuses on the economic, legal, media, and educational institutions that give rise to traffic safety, driver behavior, and how it involves the community.  Another important topic in this section is driver skill and the political aspects of traffic and road safety.

            The last section, “Technical Sub-Systems,” mainly covers the different technological innovations being implemented to try to increase traffic safety for all road users.  It discusses red-light cameras and geographic information systems and their relevancies and short comings.  Another interesting topic included in this section was the use of cell phones and whether or not it was hazardous for people to use while driving.

 

(b) Select one Chapter from each text and give a summary of it.

            Chapter 4 of the Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book is called “The Road Rage Spectrum.”  This chapter focuses on three different categories of road rage which are passive-aggressive, verbal, and epic road rage.  It also categorizes a few different types of negative behaviors in drivers such as: the rushing maniac, the automotive vigilante, the left lane bandit, the aggressive competitor, and the scofflaw.  The chapter also includes seven different exercises to see what categories you might fall into and has a helpful list of driving tips of things you should and shouldn’t do if you encounter an aggressive driver.

 

            Chapter 7 of the Driving Lessons book is titled, “Driving Identities Over the Lifespan.”  This chapter covers the important concepts of driving skill, knowledge, and identity for young, middle aged, and elderly drivers.  It talks about the importance of young drivers, to understand the consequences and danger associated with the high risks they may take when behind the wheel to uphold their driver identities.  It also touches on the subject of driver cessation among the elderly and some of the difficult challenges they may face in terms of driver identity in society.

 

(c) Discuss in what way these ideas will contribute to solving society's driving problems.

            Chapter 4 from the Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book really stood out to me because I have a very severe case of verbal road rage.  I think I always knew it on some level, but was unable to really do anything about it, because I didn’t know how else to approach my problem.  This was really important and even enlightening to me because now that I have come to terms with and acknowledged and witnessed my verbal road rage tendencies, I can now try to modify my behavior and attitude while driving.  I know that I’m only one person in society, but the change will be gradual and it does need to begin somewhere.

 

            Chapter 7 from the Driving Lessons book discusses a very prominent issue with young drivers today, which is driver identity.  I never really realized that the concept of driver identity always sticks with you and is subject to change over time.  Awareness at this level is probably the first step in approaching this problem, as young people today are only concerned with having an expensive, flashy, dropped car to show off in.  I think that this societal mentality is a dangerous one, since younger, more inexperienced drivers who are already at the highest level of risk jump into their brand new sports car.  The change will always be gradual and will always face some type of resistance or another, but I think that it’ll have to start with creating more awareness.

 

 

(d) Any other comments you wish to make.

            I thought that both of these texts were an excellent resource for this class.  I did prefer reading Dr. James’ Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book over the Driving Lessons Book, which was a little dry and difficult to get through at times.  This was why I chose to do my most of my outlines from the Driving Lessons book to force me to focus on the material and think about the concepts in the chapters.  One of the things I liked the best about Dr. James’ book was the numerous exercises for its readers to fill out.  These were an excellent tool in helping someone to begin to acknowledge some of their driving behaviors.

 

 

 

 

The Question I am answering is Question 3

Question 3:

(a) Discuss these two Web sites: drivers.com vs. drdriving.org by first describing their overall appearance and purpose.

(b) What are their main differences? Be sure to consider at least these areas:

(i) content of articles
(ii) content and tone of newsletters, when present
(iii) style of the site
(iv) probable audience
(v) public relations or policy, etc.
(vi) advertising (if any)
(vii) size (number of files or links)
(vii) ranking (see Google or Alexa)
(viii) Other sites that link to each

(c) Any other comments you wish to make.

 

Response:

(a)  Discuss these two Web sites: drivers.com vs. drdriving.org by first describing their overall appearance and purpose.

The drivers.com website has a very simplistic and easy to read format.  The information is well structured and presented in a very organized fashion and claims to be the “World’s Leading Site on Drivers and Driving.”  The purpose of this site is to provide a valuable resource to the general public and to professionals on traffic safety, driving, and driver behavior.

The Dr. Driving website presents a lot of information and links to articles and does seem a little busy and overwhelming at a glance.  The stylistic caricature at the top of the page makes the site seem a little more user friendly and welcoming.  The purpose of this site is to inform the general public and to provide a valuable resource from aggressive driving to the principles of driving psychology.  This website is probably a little more diverse in the range of topics it offers to a reader and also serves to answer any questions anyone may have about anything on driving.  A better way to describe it would be: Driving Psychology from A-Z.

 

(b) What are their main differences? Be sure to consider at least these areas:

(i) content of articles

The overall content of the articles seems to differ slightly.  The articles on the drivers.com website offer a listing of current articles on topics of interest in the media at the time.  The Dr. Driving website on the other hand, seems to offer more articles written by researchers and driving psychology experts.

 


(ii) content and tone of newsletters, when present

The drivers.com website offers a newsletter, sent out several times per year via email that you can subscribe to free of charge.  The content of these newsletters is just to keep the subscriber updated on the new developments on the site and promises that you will not receive any junk email or other messages.

Dr. Driving’s website didn’t appear to offer a newsletter, but it does post letters sent in from readers, along with Dr. James’ advice and his scholarly analysis of the situation.

 


(iii) style of the site

I really like how the Dr. Driving website appeals to me with the caricature of someone driving a sporty looking car with the ring of plumeria around it.  The plumeria is just a subtle suggestion of Hawai’i and the smiling face is friendly and welcoming for the curious readers.  The drivers.com website, on the other hand is a little more plain and has a more professional appearance with everything categorized in an alphabetized list in the left hand column.

 


(iv) probable audience

I would have to say that they both probably have a similar target audience, although it seems to me that the Dr. Driving website is more of a website for the people.  For instance, if I had a burning question related to driving that I desperately needed advice or information for, I would be more likely contact Dr. Driving about it than the large corporation that monitors the drivers.com site.  The Dr. Driving site just seems a little more hospitable and user friendly. 

 


(v) public relations or policy, etc.

The drivers.com website strongly featured advertisements in two industries:  driving, traffic safety and trucking; and technology and computing.  They also have a short listing of their sponsored links to TeachSafeDriving.com, Truck Driving Schools, and to books on trucking.  You can also post your comments in a discussions forum, create your own user profile, and contact the site moderators with any questions, inquiries, or if you would like to post your articles on their website.

Dr. Driving website allows contact through direct email of Dr. James himself, who will reply to you personally.  Many of these correspondences are also posted on the website for viewing by the readers.

 


(vi) advertising (if any)

            On drivers.com there was an advertisement on the left hand side for “Drivers Headquarters” which was site for computer drivers.  The site also contained information on how to repair modems, scanners, video cards, and printers among other information.  I thought that maybe the two websites were related or put up by the same group of people because both had a very similar color scheme and format, but was unable to find any evidence of this.  The right hand column on this website was a listing of advertisements for mostly truck driving jobs and the one at the top of the list was for computer hardware.  Also at the top of the homepage was couple of Google ads.

Drivers.com also had a link to their own bookstore, where you could purchase books related to the topics of driving, which included the Driving Lessons book we studied in this class.  It also had a link to drivers.com’s book selections on Amazon.com that Dr. James’ Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book that we’ve also studied.

The Dr. Driving website on the other hand didn’t really seem to have very many advertisements except for a link to purchase the RoadRageous video course online and a link Amazon.com where you could buy Dr. James’ book to compliment the video course.

 

 

(vii) size (number of files or links)

The homepage of the drivers.com website had a listing of ten links to articles on the subject of driving in the center of the page and had a link to view their featured book Target Risk 2 on the right hand side of the page.  The left hand side of the page contained listings for quite a few links but only thirteen were on the subject of driving.  Also on this side of the page were two links to their sponsors, a link for computer drivers, and a link for drivers’ job search. 

The homepage for the Dr. Driving site offers a vast number of links to pretty much everything you could possible want to look up about the subject of driving.  At the top of the page, there is a Main Directory with a listing of twelve topics of interest.  If you scroll further down the page, you will come across a listing of four links to some helpful statistics on car crashes and injuries and five links to the RoadRageous video course, Dr. James’ Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book, Amazon.com where you could purchase the book, and a link with some good excerpts from the book.  The next listing of links is for 29 different articles on aggressive driving and another 17 links to topics related to the subject of driving.

Including the numerous amount of links that were for advertisement purposes on the drivers.com site, I think that the two websites could be about comparable in relation to size and the number of links.  But overall, it really seems that the Dr. Driving site surpasses the competition with the amount of relevant links to the topic of driving and also with the topics related to driving such as parking rage or bicycling.

 

 


(viii) ranking (see Google or Alexa)

I honestly wasn’t too sure how to get a page ranking for both the Google and the Alexa search engines, so I ended up downloading Google’s toolbar that had the option of displaying a page rank.  After I installed it, I found that it didn’t give me a numerical ranking.  So, based on Google’s page rank, drivers.com is ranked at 6/10 and Dr. Driving is at a 5/10.

 

 


(ix) Other sites that link to each

A few of the sites that are linked to the drivers.com page are: 

Consumer Law Page:  http://consumerlawpage.com/article/4by4-rollovers.shtml 

Department of Motor Vehicles Guide:  http://www.dmv.org/

Perils for Pedestrians: http://www.pedestrians.org

North Carolina Coalition for Bicycle Driving: http://www.humantransport.org/bicycledriving/

 

 

A few of the sites that are linked to the Dr. Driving page are:

Fatality Analysis Reporting System: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov 

CNET- News.com: http://news.com.com/2100-1033-982325.html?tag=fd_top

Car Accident Statistics: http://www.car-accidents.com/pages/stats.html

International Injury & Fatality Statistics: http://www.safecarguide.com/exp/statistics/statistics.htm

 

            The drivers.com website seemed to have a lot more links to other pages than the Dr. Driving website, which had many more articles written by Dr. James and Dr. Nahl.

 

 

(b)  Any other comments you wish to make.

Overall, I would personally prefer to navigate the Dr. Driving website over the drivers.com website because it seems to have much more valuable information to me as a driver and  seems more geared to increasing awareness and on the improvement of driving skills.

 

 

 

The Question I am answering is Question 4

Question 4:

(a) Select three of the following student reports from Generation 15:

1.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/ahsing/report2.htm

2.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/chun/report2.htm

3.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/lukey/report2.htm

4.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/morreira/Report2.htm

5.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/shellgirl/report2.htm

6.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/reaves/report2.html

7.      http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/sophie/report2.htm

(b) Summarize each of the three reports. Be sure you put a link to the report you are referring to.

(c) Add a General Conclusion Section in which you discuss your reactions to what they did –

(i) their ideas,
(ii) their method,
(iii) their explanations.

(d) What did they gain from doing their reports?

(e) How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?

(e) Any other comments you wish to make.

 

 

Response:

(a)  Select three of the following student reports from Generation 15:

1)  http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/shellgirl/report2.htm

2)  http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409bf2001/reaves/report2.html

3)  http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/sophie/report2.htm

 

Dr. James’ Diagram Representing the Emotional Spin Cycle

 

 

 

(b) Summarize each of the three reports. Be sure you put a link to the report you are referring to.

            The first report was titled “Customizing My Emotional Spin Cycle: Data Analysis by Shell87.  She starts her report by giving an introduction and description of the daily emotional spin cycle and what she will be doing for the data collection section of her report.  The data for this report was listed in a very concise and organized fashion that was easy to read.

            The second report I chose was titled “Customizing My Emotional Spin Cycle: Data Analysis by Nicole Reaves.  This report differed slightly in regards to format, but was very interesting and easy to read.  One thing I really liked about this one was that she included the above diagram in her description of the different zones of the emotional spin cycle, which made for easy reference.  I really liked how the author’s personality came through the tone and style of the report.  It made it easier to read and to relate to her situations and feelings in the data collection portion.

 

            The third report I chose was given the same title as the previous two reports and was written by Sophie.  She also started off by giving the general descriptions of the four different zones of the emotional spin cycle and emphasizes the importance of the three step method to acknowledge, witness, and modify your behavior.  This report was not as clearly marked as the first two but still included two very interesting and even unusual examples of her negative experiences.

 

 

(c) Add a General Conclusion Section in which you discuss your reactions to what they did –

(i) their ideas

Each of these three reports expressed similar ideas in their use of the three step method to behavior modification in regard to the emotional spin cycle.  The use and application of these concepts are well rounded, in that anyone who is interested could read any one of these three reports and try it out for themselves.

 


(ii) their method

 All three students used similar methods in data collection and analysis.  The first week of data consisted only of their thoughts and feelings which helped them to acknowledge and witness their behaviors.  It was interesting to compare two weeks of documentation on their emotions and behaviors and how they were able to implement the concepts of the emotional spin cycle in their everyday lives for improvement in their lives.  Their use of the global ratings were also a great way for the reader to get a feel for how they were feeling at the time and a good way to be able to compare their findings in week one and week two. 

 


(iii) their explanations.

            All three of these reports were very informative in their descriptions of the emotional spin cycle and how it works.  Each student was very successful in incorporating the use of the three step method to behavior modification, which I think was beneficial to the reader in understanding how the process works and how it can be applied.  I especially enjoyed reading Nicole’s revelations as she implemented the changes to her thinking and therefore her behavior and attitude towards her son.

 

 

(d) What did they gain from doing their reports?

            Overall, I think that all three of these students gained only positive things from this self experiment.  All three of them were able to acknowledge their negative emotions and try to modify them using these principles to help them have more positive behaviors and attitudes towards the people and events around them.

 

 

(e) How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?

            I think that these ideas and the fact that they were able to implement these changes to their behaviors and attitudes through the self-witnessing process has definitely had a positive impact on my thoughts on the subject.  I think that by keeping a running log of my negative and positive feelings over a span of two weeks, I might be able to implement these changes in myself to modify my own negative thoughts.

 

 

 

The Question I am answering is Question 5

Question 5:

(a) Consider Table 5 in the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/409a-g23-lecture-notes.htm#Charts 

(b) Consult the article from which the Table was taken.

(c) Copy and paste the table into your file. Now delete the examples in each cell and replace them with your own examples that you make up.

(d) Discuss why driving is such a big problem in all societies and why no effective solutions have yet been found for them.

(e) Discuss the solutions offered by Dr. Leon James (www.DrDriving.org). What likelihood is there that his approach will be adopted? Explain. (f) Any other comments you wish to make.

 

Response:

(a)    Table 5 from the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/409a-g23-lecture-notes.htm#Charts

The Original

Table 5
Emotionally Intelligent Driver Personality Skills
 

Driver Competence Skills

Aggressive
NEGATIVE DRIVING

Supportive
POSITIVE DRIVING

Not
Emotionally Intelligent
(REPTILIAN DRIVING)
 

Emotionally
Intelligent
(CORTICAL DRIVING)
 

1. Focusing on self vs. blaming others or the situation

"This traffic is impossibly slow. What’s wrong with these jerks. They’re driving like idiots."
 

"I’m feeling very impatient today. Everything seems to tick me off."

2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together


"I’m angry, scared, outraged. How can they do this to me."
 

"I feel angry, scared, outraged when I think about what could have happened."
 

3. Realizing that anger is something we choose vs. thinking it is provoked
 

"They make me so mad when they do that."

"I make myself so mad when they do that."

4. Being concerned about consequences vs. giving in to impulse

"I just want to give this driver a piece of my mind. I just want him to know how I feel."

"If I respond to this provocation I lose control over the situation. It’s not worth it."
 

5. Showing respect for others and their rights vs. thinking only of oneself


"They better stay out of my way. I’m in no mood for putting up with them. Out of my way folks."


"I wish there was no traffic but it’s not up to me. These people have to get to their destination too."
 

6. Accepting traffic as collective team work vs. seeing it as individual competition

"Driving is about getting ahead. I get a jolt out of beating a red light or finding the fastest lane. It’s me vs. everybody else."
 

"I try to keep pace with the traffic realizing that my movements can slow others down—like switching lanes to try to get ahead."
 

7. Recognizing the diversity of drivers and their needs and styles vs. blaming them for what they choose to do
 

"How can they be so stupid? They’re talking on the phone instead of paying attention to the road."
 

"I need to be extra careful around drivers using a hand held cellular phone since they may be distracted."
 

8. Practicing positive role models vs. negative

"Come on, buddy, speed up or I’ll be on your tail. Go, go. What’s wrong with you. There’s no one ahead."
 

"This driver is going slower than my desires. Now I can practice the art of patience and respect for the next few minutes."
 

9.  Learning to inhibit the impulse to criticize by developing a sense of driving humor

"I can’t stand all these idiots on the road. They slow down when they should speed up. They gawk, they crawl, anything but drive."
 

"I’m angry, I’m mad
Therefore I’ll act calm, I’ll smile and not compete.  Already I feel better.  Be my guest, enter ahead."
 

10. Taking driving seriously by becoming aware of one’s mistakes and correcting them

"I’m an excellent driver, assertive and competent, with a clean accident record—just a few tickets here and there."

"I monitor myself as a driver and keep a driving log of my mistakes. I think it’s important to include thoughts and feelings, not just the overt acts."

 

 

(c) Copy and paste the table into your file. Now delete the examples in each cell and replace them with your own examples that you make up.

My Version

Table 5
Emotionally Intelligent Driver Personality Skills
 

Driver Competence Skills

Aggressive
NEGATIVE DRIVING

Supportive
POSITIVE DRIVING

Not
Emotionally Intelligent
(REPTILIAN DRIVING)
 

Emotionally
Intelligent
(CORTICAL DRIVING)
 

1. Focusing on self vs. blaming others or the situation

"Why is this guy going so slow?  Now I’m really going to be late for class."
 

"I’m already so irritated.  It’s not going to be a good day. "

2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together


"I can’t believe that jerk just ran that stop sign!  He almost hit me!"
 

"It scares me to think about what almost happened."
 

3. Realizing that anger is something we choose vs. thinking it is provoked
 

"It pisses me off when people just cut me off without signaling."

"I make myself so mad when people cut me off.”

4. Being concerned about consequences vs. giving in to impulse

"I just want to get revenge on this guy for almost hitting me!  Now I’m going to tailgate him!”

"If I tailgate him, I could cause a collision.  It’s not worth it."
 

5. Showing respect for others and their rights vs. thinking only of oneself


"I’m going to get in front of this guy since he’s going too slow for me."


"I wish there was no traffic but I guess everyone else has someplace to be at
1:00.” 

6. Accepting traffic as collective team work vs. seeing it as individual competition

"I like to get to and from each of my destinations in the fastest time possible, regardless of traffic.  I should be able to determine my own speed.” 

"I’ll stay in this lane, even if it’s the slowest one, since I need to be in this lane anyways.  I don’t want to slow everyone else down."
 

7. Recognizing the diversity of drivers and their needs and styles vs. blaming them for what they choose to do
 

"I can’t believe she’s text messaging and driving at the same time!  What an idiot!”
 

"I’ll make sure that I stay a safe distance away from her, since she’s preoccupied with her cell phone."
 

8. Practicing positive role models vs. negative

"Can’t you go any faster?  There’s no one in front of you!  What’s the hold up?  I have places to be!  Don’t you know that this is the FAST lane?"
 

"Since this driver is going the speed limit, I’ll just stay behind him at this pace to be safe.” 

9.  Learning to inhibit the impulse to criticize by developing a sense of driving humor

"Damn, stupid female drivers!  Why don’t you learn how to drive?  Your car’s got signals for a reason!”
 

"Obviously she still doesn’t know how to drive.  Maybe she hasn’t heard about our excellent bus system.  We’ve even got electric buses now."
 

10. Taking driving seriously by becoming aware of one’s mistakes and correcting them

"I am a great driver.   Except for the one speeding ticket and the one accident on my record.”

"I realize that I have many negative thoughts, feelings, and actions while I am driving.  I need to work on modifying my driving behaviors to become a better driver."

 

 

(d) Discuss why driving is such a big problem in all societies and why no effective solutions have yet been found for them.

            There are so many various environmental and internal factors that contribute to the complexity of driving that makes me realize that this is a problem society will have for a very long time more to come.  The biggest problem that I see now, is how selfish other drivers can be, and I’m not excluding myself from the masses.  It may sound surprising, but I don’t know if the larger driving population realizes that when they put themselves at risk while behind the wheel, that they are also putting other motorists at risk.  If more people were to come to terms with this, I think it could possibly help them to not push themselves to the maximum risk while driving.

            Society’s acceptance of road rage and aggressive driving has become a sick cycle that passes from generation to generation and an issue, I believe that is only getting worse.  Today’s current aggressive drivers are out there right now, probably passing on their negative driving behaviors and attitudes to their offspring without even realizing or caring about it.  Their children in turn, may get behind the wheel (when they are ready) and exhibit the same behaviors.  It’s not a given that they will do so, but it becomes a greater possibility if today’s youth are not exposed or made aware of the consequences and domino effect of road rage and aggressive driving.

            I think that the reason no effective solutions have been found is because everyone is so set in their ways and resistant to change.  The general public would probably also claim that they’re too busy, they’ve got more important things to do, or that they don’t have a problem at all.  Road rage and aggressive driving has become such an accepted form of expression that I think most people don’t even give their negative actions, feelings, or thoughts a second thought.

 

 

(e) Discuss the solutions offered by Dr. Leon James (www.DrDriving.org). What likelihood is there that his approach will be adopted? Explain.

One of Dr. James’ solutions is to introduce the concepts of driving psychology and being a supportive driver to young people earlier in their educations.  His idea is to instill these notions in people from an early age so that society can help to nurture better drivers.  Another one of his objectives is to help to raise awareness that there is a very real problem in road rage and aggressive driving that seems to getting more and more prevalent over the years.  The purpose of his work is to help inform people of the concept of a supportive driver to help people to realize that their driving behaviors may need modification.  For this, there is also his three step program: acknowledge, witness, and modify to enforce better road behaviors.

I think that his ideas will be adopted eventually but, the change will be very gradual and the implementation difficult because much of the general population is set in their ways and reluctant to admit that they may have a problem.  Exposure of these negative driving habits also have a great impact on the young impressionable children riding in the backseats and unfortunately gets passed on to them.  But we do need to begin somewhere by informing people of the importance of driving psychology and of being a supportive driver.  For me, my first stepping stone was taking this class.

 

 

 

 

The Question I am answering is Question 7

Question 7:

(a) Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has checklist exercises in several chapters. Do the following four exercises:

(i) Exercise on How Passenger-Friendly Are You on p.184-5
(ii) Exercise on Witnessing Your Aggressive Driving on p. 140-3
(iii) Exercise on Your Road Rage Tendency on p. 40-42
(iv) Exercise on Your
Verbal Road Rage Tendency on p. 91

(b) What were your reactions to each exercise?

(c) Discuss how these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.

(d) Do some of the exercises with another driver you know. How do they help you understand some principles of driving psychology mentioned in the book? Discuss and illustrate.

(e) Any other comments you wish to make.

 

 

Response:

(a) Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has checklist exercises in several chapters. Do the following four exercises:

(i) Exercise on “How Passenger-Friendly Are You?” on p.184-185

1)     __T__ I always consider my passenger’s feelings.

2)     __T__ I adjust my driving to accommodate to my passengers’ comfort.

3)     __T__ I let my passengers influence my driving for the better.

4)     __T__ I want my passengers to think of me as a good and safe driver.

5)     __T__ I try to avoid making driving mistakes even more when I have passengers.

6)     _____ I think that passengers should just sit back, relax, and leave the driving to me.  But if they feel more comfortable participating, I let them if it’s safe.

7)     _____ My passengers can control the air conditioning and windows.

8)     __T__ Passengers have the right to criticize the driver’s behavior.

9)     _____ I want my passengers to be grateful and show appreciation, but if they don’t I won’t resent it or hold it against them.

10) _____ My passengers can select the music.

 

(ii) Exercise on “Witnessing Your Aggressive Driving” on p. 140-143

Witnessing Your Emotions:

1)     __T__ Getting angry when forced to brake by another motorist

2)     _____ Feeling insulted and furious when a driver revs the engine in passing

3)     __T__ Feeling hostile when your progress is impeded by congestion

4)     _____ Being suspicious when a driver doesn’t let you change lanes

5)     __T__ Feeling justified in retaliating when another driver insults you

6)     _____ Enjoying thoughts of revenge and torture

7)     _____ Enjoying the role of being mean behind the wheel

8)     __T__ Feeling satisfaction when expressing hostility against other drivers

9)     _____ Fantasizing racing other road warriors

10) __T__ Enjoying stereotyping and ridiculing certain drivers

11) __T__ Constantly feeling like rushing, even when you’re not late

12) _____ Striving to get ahead of every car

13) _____ Being pleased when getting away with breaking traffic laws

14) _____ Enjoying the feeling of risk or danger when moving fast

15) __T__ Other:  Feeling hostile when you are cut off by another driver who is trying to get ahead in traffic

 

Witnessing Your Thoughts:

1)     _____ Justifying rejection of the law that every lane change must be signaled

2)     _____ Thinking that it’s up to you to choose which stop signs should be obeyed

3)     _____ Thinking that there is no need for speed limits

4)     _____ Being ignorant of safety rules and principles (e.g., who has the right of way)

5)     _____ Thinking that it’s not necessary to figure out the route before leaving when it is

6)     __T__ Not leaving early enough; thinking you can make up time by driving faster

7)     __T__ Thinking that some drivers are fools, airheads, rejects, and so on

8)     _____ Thinking that other drivers are out to get you

9)     _____ Believing that passengers have fewer rights than drivers

10) __T__ Thinking you can handle drinking and driving due to your special ability to hold your liquor

11) __T__ Thinking that you can use in-car communication systems safely without having to train yourself

12) __T__ Believing that pedestrians shouldn’t have the right of way when jaywalking

13) _____ Believing it’s OK not to wear a seat belt since you probably won’t need it

14) _____ Thinking it’s best to get ahead of others even if you cause them to slow down

 

Witnessing Your Actions:

1)     _____ Not signaling when required by law

2)     __T__ Lane hopping to get ahead rather than going with the flow

3)     _____ Following too close for the speed

4)     __T__ Gap closing to prevent someone from entering you lane

5)     _____ Turning right from the middle or left lane

6)     _____ Blocking the passing lane, not moving over as soon as possible

7)     _____ Speeding faster than the flow of traffic

8)     _____ Shining high beams to annoy a driver

9)     _____ Honking to protest something when it’s not an emergency

10) __T__ Gesturing insultingly at another driver

11) __T__ Speeding up suddenly to make it through a yellow light

12) __T__ Making rolling stops when a full stop is required

13) _____ Threatening pedestrians by approaching them quickly

14) _____ Illegally parking in a marked handicap space

15) _____ Parking or double parking where it’s illegal

16) __T__ Playing the radio loudly enough to be heard by other drivers

17) _____ Taking a parking space unfairly or opportunistically

18) __T__ Driving under the influence of alcohol or medication

19) _____ Bad mouthing other drivers when kids are in the vehicle

20) _____ Ignoring the comfort of passengers or verbally assaulting them when they complain about your driving

21) _____ Failing to yield

22) __T__ Other:  Bad mouthing other drivers

 

iii) Exercise on “Your Road Rage Tendency” on p. 40-42

1)     _no__ I swear a lot more in traffic than I do elsewhere.

2)     _yes_ I normally have critical thoughts about other drivers.

3)     _yes_ When a driver in a parking lot tries to steal the space I’ve been waiting for, I get furious.

4)     _no__ I fantasize about doing violence to other drivers (e.g., using guns or blowing them up or sweeping them aside)- but it’s just fantasy.

5)     _yes_ When drivers do something really “stupid” that endangers me or my car, I get furious, even aggressive.

6)     _yes_ It’s good to get your anger out because we all have aggressive feelings inside that naturally come out under stressful situations.

7)     _no__ When I’m very upset about something, it’s a relief to step on the gas to give my feelings an outlet.

8)     _yes_ I feel that it’s important to force certain drivers to behave appropriately on the highway.

9)     _no__ Pedestrians shouldn’t have the right to walk slowly in crosswalks when cars are waiting.

10) _yes_ Pushy drivers really annoy me so I bad-mouth them to feel better.

11) _no__ I tailgate when someone drives too slow for conditions or in the passing lane.

12) _no__ I try to get to my destination in the shortest time possible, or else it doesn’t feel right.

13) _yes_ If I stopped driving aggressively, others would take advantage of my passivity.

14) _no__ I feel unpleasant emotions when someone beats me to the light or when someone gets through and I’m stuck on red.

15) _no__ I feel energized by the sense of power and competition I experience while driving aggressively.

16) _no__ I hate speed bumps and speed limits that are set too low.

17) _yes_ Once in a while I get so frustrated in traffic that I begin to drive somewhat recklessly.

18) _yes_ I hate large trucks and I refuse to drive differently around them.

19) _yes_ Sometimes I feel that I’m holding up traffic so I start driving faster than feels comfortable.

20) _no__ I would feel embarrassed to “get stuck” behind a large vehicle on a steep road.

 

(iv) Exercise on “Your Verbal Road Rage Tendency” on p. 91

1)     __T__ Hey fool, get out of the way!

2)     __T__ What’s wrong with this driver?  I can’t believe how slow he’s going!

3)     __T__ Nope I won’t let you sneak into my lane.

4)     __T__ Hey, what’s the big rush?  Don’t be so pushy!

5)     _____ I’d like to see you squirm, you pushy geek.

6)     _____ Did that scare you?  Good.  I hope it teaches you a lesson.

7)     _____ I’m tailgating you now.  Pay you back.  So who’s the smart one, huh?

8)     __T__ Figures, it’s a woman.  Women can’t drive for #%*!  (also works for different social class, orientation, ethnic identity, and age groups)

9)     _____ I hope you break your neck!

10) __T__ Who do you think you are, creep?

11) _____ Get a life!

12) _____ Look, that airhead left his blinker on!

 

 

(b) What were your reactions to each exercise?

            I thought that number ten in “How Passenger-Friendly Are You?” was funny and maybe a little too considerate of the driver.  While I could not say that it was true of me to let my passengers select the music we listen to during the ride, I usually end up talking with the person or persons for the duration of the ride.  So the music is ends up as background noise and as a non-issue.

The checklists under “Witnessing Your Aggressive Driving” were very enlightening for me because after I had looked over my answers, I realized that many of the items I didn’t check off were the things that really annoyed me in other drivers.  Things such as not signaling a lane change, not stopping at a stop sign, turning right from the middle lane, or threatening pedestrians by approaching too quickly.  Also, under the “Witnessing Your Actions” section I had to mark the second as true because I do have the tendency to go around slower cars on the freeway, although only when I’m late for class and when the lanes aren’t too congested.

The very first question in the “Road Rage Tendency” checklist made me hesitate.  At first I thought that my answer would be a definitive “yes,” but then I realized that the number one location my swearing takes place in is at my job.  But while I’m driving takes a very, very close second, only because I spend a lot more time at work than in the car, now that my class schedule permits that I avoid early morning and late afternoon traffic. 

            When I saw the checklist on “Verbal Road Rage Tendency,” I instantly knew that I had to do it.  I know that I have exceptionally horrific verbal road rage tendencies, as pointed out to me by my boyfriend a couple years ago while he was riding with me.  My original solution to this was to try to suppress the foul language that threatened to burst out while I had passengers riding with me.  This works well for my passengers, but there is still the problem of my verbal road rage while I drive alone, which I am trying to improve on.

 

 

(c) Discuss how these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.

            I’ve known for quite some time now, that I have some serious road rage and aggressive driving tendencies.  These exercises were an excellent tool for helping me realize my negative thoughts, emotions, and actions by seeing them written in black and white with a check mark next to each statement that pertained to me as a driver. 

I have also learned the hard way by getting into a collision that you need to leave a sufficient amount of room (definitely more than one car length) between you and the car in front of you while going 60 miles per hour on the freeway.  It may seem like the good, sensible thing to do, but over the years that I’ve been driving to the University at Manoa, especially in traffic from the Aiea and Pearl City areas, I picked up too many bad habits.  These were brought on mostly through my frustration, agitation, impatience, and the inability to do anything about it while stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on a daily basis.

 

 

(d) Do some of the exercises with another driver you know. How do they help you understand some principles of driving psychology mentioned in the book? Discuss and illustrate.

            I found it very interesting that my boyfriend and I had such different responses.  The only exercise that our responses were very similar was for the one on “How Passenger Friendly Are You?”  Although he ended up checking every single statement out of the ten, I realized that he is indeed very passenger friendly.  And he really does let me change the music when I ride with him.  Also on the “Road Rage Tendency” exercise, he answered ‘no’ to ALL of the questions.  I was pretty dumbfounded because that means that I am way more aggressive and way more likely to involve in road rage tendencies while driving than he is.

 

 

 

 

 

My report on the Previous Generation

The Generation 22 class folder is found at:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005

 

 

Leanna Bergeron-  She answers questions 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 and begins her report by defining and discussing the three behavioral domains of a driver: the affective, the cognitive and the sensorimotor.  She proceeds to define each cell in the table 2 posted in her report and rates her husbands driving skills according to these domains.  The next part of her report is comparing the drivers.com website to the Dr. Driving website.  She didn’t include her personal thoughts on the two sites and which one she preferred if any.

 

            In the next section of her report she summarizes six different student reports two each on reports 1, 2, and 3 from generation 20.  She then proceeds to question 5, which is replacing the examples from Table 5 from the lecture notes with our own examples of each.  Question 7 is again similar to this generation’s one where she fills out four of the exercises from the Dr. James’ book.  She concludes her report with her summaries of presentations done on her generation and with some valuable advice for the future generations.

 

 

 

Justin Golder-  His report covers the same five questions as Leanna did and was not as easy to read because the sections weren’t very segregated.  Another thing that may have been difficult for readers is that he did not include the tables he discussed in question 1 from the lecture notes, as Leanna did.  Nor did he include the exercises from the Road Rage and Aggressive Driving text being discussed for question 7. 

 

            I really enjoyed some of his examples in Table 5 of the lecture notes, for question 5.  Some of them sounded exactly like things I’ve said while driving under stressful conditions or circumstances.  Or when I was just plain late for class, which was actually pretty much every day last semester.

 

 

 

 

Kyle Takeshima-  Kyle also did questions 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7, but his report was a lot easier to read than Justin’s because his sections were clearly marked (A, B, C, etc.) and in addition, he used different fonts for his responses and left extra spaces between sections.  Like Justin, Kyle did not include the table he discussed in question 1 or the exercises from Dr. James’ book for question 7.

 

            He concludes his report 2 with his advice to future generations, which he actually used a bigger font for to emphasize the importance of not procrastinating.  This was a good technique because when I scrolled down his page initially, it was the only thing that really caught my attention, so I ended up reading his advice section first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advice to Future Generations

 

Just three things: 

 

            I know it has already been said a number of times before in the previous generations, but it is very important to stay ahead in this class.  Do not procrastinate!  Maybe for some people, the adrenaline or stress factor helps them to produce their best work, but more often than not I think you’ll be able to tell the difference between work that has been revised, edited and reworked on and work that has just been hastily typed up with little or no revising or editing.  In the long run, I think that producing the best work possible and earning a good grade will be one of the most rewarding things you could get out of this class, along with a much better understanding of Driving Psychology.

 

            TRUST ME!  I waited until the last week to work on much of this report and paid dearly for it!  In addition to the added stress factor of time restraints of a full-time job, and my other classes, I got sick.  This not only increased the level of difficulty in any studying and the completion of this report, but added on an extra dash of stress.  Don’t do it to yourself because it is NOT worth it!  If I had diligently worked on this a little at a time, it could have prevented a whole lot of the stress and elevated cortisol levels.  Please take this advice to heart, especially if you are taking this class in the fall because December is already a very busy time of year for everyone, plus it’s flu season.

 

            The last piece of advice I have is to go to class prepared and ready for discussion.  It really sucks after you give an oral presentation and NO ONE has anything to say.  So it’s you (the speaker) hoping someone will pose a question to you, while everyone sits in a daze or averts their eyes.  It’s really not a good feeling after you’ve presented material, to realize that you’ve either put your audience to sleep or bored them to death.  Plus, I believe that speaking up in class is a good portion of your grade, so it will not only benefit you, but it’ll definitely perk up class discussion time.

 

            Well, I guess that’s it!  This is a really interesting class and I feel like I got a lot out of it because I was able to apply the principles to improve my own driving.  Stay ahead of the game and spread the word (or Dr. James’ book and video course) to your friends and family!

 

 

 

Class Home Page: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy23/classhome-g23.htm

 

 

My Home Page:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409af2005/goto/home.htm