Report 2

April 24, 2006
My Understanding of Driving Psychology
by
Lincoln James Whyte
Instructions for this report are at:
www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy24/409a-g24-report2.htm 
I am answering Questions 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7. 

The Question I am answering is Question 1:

 (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 Chapter 8 on Supportive Driving (by James and Nahl) in the Road Rage book and Chapter 14 on Driving Skills (by Lawrance Lonero) in the Driving Lessons book. Summarize their content. Be sure to refer to the author's name(s).

(c) Discuss in what way these ideas can help solve society's driving problems. Be specific: what are the main problems and how can particular ideas in these chapters help solve those problems.

(d) Describe any resistance you experience regarding this orientation, including:

(i) the idea that how you drive is a moral issue of human rights
(ii) the idea of lifelong driver education and the idea of mandatory participation in QDC support groups

 

(e) Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about driving personality makeovers

 

__________Answers__________

Q. 1 (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.

Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare.

This textbook by Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl is a well put together book that includes many useful examples to help show the reality of the problems associated with driving as well as to provide scenarios that one can personally relate to, exercises and checklists to help understand concepts and to apply them to the self or others, and fully covers the broad range of concepts behind driving and road rage/ aggressive driving.

Part one of the textbook contains 4 chapters on the conflict mentality. The first chapter, driving in the age of rage, includes topics such as whether or not road rage is real or media hype, how it is a worldwide phenomenon, facing the culture of disrespect, the expanding age of rage, the anger choice, rules of civility, developing emotional literacy, and protecting yourself from aggressive drivers and it also has two checklists on “your road rage tendency”, and “winning and losing in the driving game”(outline 1). The second chapter, aggressive driving and mental health, covers topics such as denial and the semantics of aggressive driving, drivers behaving badly on TV (DBB ratings, outline 4), players behaving badly with road rage video games, why driving arouses anger, the gender effect, driving impaired, and emotional self- control behind the wheel as well as a checklist on “aggressive thoughts and feelings”. Chapter three, causes of highway hostility, discusses the concepts of defensive driving, stressful congestion, inevitable unpredictability, peer pressure, automotive vigilantism, trigger theory of road rage, and venting and also includes a checklist on “your range of hostility”. The fourth and final chapter of the first section, the road rage spectrum, covers the Jekyll- Hyde syndrome, passive aggressive road rage with checklist, verbal road rage with checklist, epic road rage with checklist, automotive vigilantes with checklist, rushing maniacs with checklist, aggressive competitors with checklist, scofflaw with checklist, and some real world driving tips.

Part two of the textbook is about driving psychology. The first chapter of the part two, chapter 5: emotional intelligence for drivers, starts off the psychological view of driving with inner power tools, overcoming emotional high jacking, three levels of emotional intelligence (oppositional, defensive, and supportive driving), anatomy of an epic road rage tragedy, and shrinking your emotional territory. This chapter includes the exercises on “negative vs. positive driving”, “acting as if”, “scenario analysis to modify oppositional thinking”, and “identifying wrong assumptions”. Chapter 6, three step driver self- improvement program, is for self- assessment for drivers. It includes and exercise on “assessing myself as a driver” and checklists on “witnessing your aggressive driving” and “identifying your irrational driving rules”. These exercises and checklists help with the concept of the AWM approach to driver self modification (Acknowledge, Witness, and Modify), as resistance to change. The chapter ends of with a driver’s diary. Chapter seven is about children and road rage. It involves ideas about road rage nursery, verbal rewards for good passengers, children’s road rage, and children against road rage as well as exercises on “recognizing aggression on the road”, “appropriate and inappropriate passenger behaviors”, “observing driving”, and “drivers behaving badly ratings (outline 4 )”. Supportive driving is the title of chapter eight and it discuss the benefits of supportive driving, motorist to motorist communication, training for supportive driving, coming out swinging positive, and road rage against passengers (outline 6). This chapter also includes exercises on “random acts of kindness for drivers” and “partnership driving”, and checklists on “supportive driving affirmations”, “do you support passenger rights in your car?”, and “how passenger friendly are you?.” There is a more thorough summary of chapter eight found below in the part 1 (b). The final chapter this section is a very important one on lifelong driver education. This chapter talks about teenagers at risk, driver-ZED, driving psychology curriculum, post licensing: the QDC (quality driving circles) approach, road rageous: a video course, and older drivers at risk as well as an exercise on “scenario analysis to develop critical thinking” and a checklist on “positive driving behavior”.

The third and final part of the textbook looks to the future of driving. It starts off with chapter 10 on the war against aggressive driving, followed by chapter 11, speed limits- the great motorist rebellion (oral 2), and chapter 12, dream cars and driving realities. Chapter 10 covers direct and indirect costs, congressional hearings, federal agencies united against aggressive drivers, aggressive police initiatives, aggressive driving bills, and traffic enforcement education. Chapter 1 covers the topics of aggressive vs. assertive driving, citizen activism against government paternalism, police presence, traffic calming, electronic traffic surveillance, speed trap registries around the world, and activism against aggressive drivers. The final chapter of the book talks about concepts of in the drivers image, driving music, dashboard dining, car phones, mobile computing, intelligent transportation systems, and managing the new world of driving.

Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer.

This book is a compellation of several different views (psychological sociology, education, engineering, medicine and the law) on driving problems and possible solutions written by numerous authors.

Section one of this text book, personal sub systems, covers topics such as neuro- behavioral variables and traffic safety, dealing with stress, aggression and pressure in the vehicle (taxonomy of driving behavior as affective, cognitive and sensorimotor outline 2), innovations in injury control (from crash to the community), family and friends (how intimate social life contributes to risky driving oral 1), rural vs. urban driving (social behavior and lifestyle), driving identities over the lifespan (codes for the road), and risky vehicles, risky agents (mobility and the politics if space, movement and consciousness).

The second section, institutional sub systems, discusses topics such as sugar bear in the hot zone (understanding and interpreting the political basis of traffic safety), dispatchers and drivers (on- the- road economics and manufactured risk outline 5), volunteer citizen activism and court monitoring, from workplace to community, revisiting communications and traffic safety, driver skill(performance and behavior outline 9), and breaking the crystal ball (participatory action research and traffic safety in the school).

The final section, technical sub- systems, looks at topics such as geographic information systems, case- based reasoning and system design (fixing the normal accident), modeling hazardous locations with geographic information systems (Oral 3), the evolution toward an integrated systems approach to traffic safety and roadways, is using a cell phone like driving drunk?, red- light cameras (techno- policing at the crossroads), and traffic safety (content over packaging).

Q. 1 (b) Select Chapter 8 on Supportive Driving (by James and Nahl) in the Road Rage book and Chapter 14 on Driving Skills (by Lawrance Lonero) in the Driving Lessons book. Summarize their content. Be sure to refer to the author's name(s).

Supportive Driving, Chapter 8 (p. 167), Road Rage and Aggressive Driving.

James and Nahl start off this chapter with the benefits of driving in a way that accommodates to the diversity of other’s driving styles and that avoids road rage thinking; supportive driving. Some of the benefits of supportive driving include helping to contain road rage, reduce stress, boosts the immune system, fosters community spirit, protects from emotional or physical injury, protects from financial liability. These our the outcomes when positively accommodating to diversities on the road such as local drivers vs. visitors, large vehicles vs. smaller, healthy, able- bodied drivers vs. challenged, ill, emotionally upset drivers and those in pain, sober drivers vs. intoxicated drivers, young drivers with good vision and quick reflexes vs. older, slower, less capable, skilled drivers vs. unskilled, drivers in a rush vs. excessively slow, emotionally intelligent vs. emotionally unintelligent, and confident vs. unconfident drivers.

James and Nahl talk about motorist to motorist communication in the second section f this chapter. In this section there is a list of proposals for a universal hand signal language for drivers to communicate with each other more affectively. They include symbols for an apology (fingers in V palm out), slow down, danger ahead (headlights on and off/ tap break lights depending on direction of traffic you wish to alert), lane courtesy: please yield left lane (turn left turn signal on and off 4-6 times), pull over for a problem (point to object, followed by thumbs down), light problem: check lights (open close hand touching fingertips together), need assistance (make T with hands), and I understand: thank you (thumbs up or OK symbol). They also give an example of what may be to come in the future of driver to driver communication, a light panel that can be operated by the driver that displays a set of preprogrammed messages such as, help, thanks, or sorry.

In the next couple of sections James and Nahl write on the importance of training to be a more supportive driver and trying to stay positive. They illustrate how these ideas are effective with the use of many examples and explaining and from looking at situations from three possible philosophies: oppositional driving philosophy, defensive driving philosophy, and a supportive driving philosophy.

The chapter ends of with a section on road rage against passengers, in which a driver can abuse passengers by violating their rights, as well as some exercises on “random acts of kindness for drivers”, and “partnership driving”, as well as checklists for “supportive driving affirmations”, “do you support passenger rights in the car?”, and “how passenger- friendly are your?”. These exercises and checklists are great for helping you become a more supportive driver by first realizing your unsupportive negative behaviors and then helping you to convert them into positive supportive ones.

For additional information on supportive driving refer to outline 6.

Driving Skills, Chapter 14 (p. 211), Driving Lessons: Exploring Systems That Make Traffic Safer.

This chapter was written by Lawrence P. Lonero and talks about the roll of a driver’s skill on their road performance and behavior. This chapter starts off with the question what is skill? Skills are defined as the learned ability to perform specific tasks effectively and efficiently. The original definition of skill referred mainly to perceptual- motor skills but has recently been broadened to incorporate mental processes and abilities. No matter how you look at it driving is definitely a skill, one that many master to the point where it becomes automatic after much practice. Driving skill is composed both of continuous and discontinuous skills. Modern driving skill has come to mean more than the capability of controlling a vehicle through motor skills, and now includes mental activities to maintain situational awareness and manage vehicle systems.

The second section of this chapter is on the basic human capacities underlying driving skill which are often complex and not well understood. There are two important aspects of fundamental capabilities, the limitations of human information processing capacities, and the varying of basic mental, sensory, mental, and psycho- physical capacities within an individual. Lonero also notes that some skills are not transferable to other situations and thus are only possible to learn during exposure to that situation making learning difficult.

In the next section Lonero emphasizes the importance of looking at the whole driver, that is, all of the skills that are required to assess competency. It is true that some skills play a more crucial role and by studying differences between groups of different crash risks we can see the importance of certain skills. A study done points out some major causes of accidents: improper lookout, excessive speed, inattention, improper evasive action, and internal distraction to name a few. Basically these many of these deal with attention which is a cognitive skill.

The taxonomic model of driving and driver skills is very important. The taxonomy includes skills in different categories. Knowledge deals with cognition and memory and includes experiences, facts, rules, principles and expectations that are stored in long- term memory. This skill category is important because it provides the basis for cognitive and perceptual functions to occur. Attention is cognitive and perceptual which deals with controlling, dividing and switching focus. It is important for screening out distractions and management of cognitive resources. Detection is a sensory and pre- attentional skill that involves fixation and formation of images which is important because it identifies changes in the environment.  Perception is a sensory and cognitive skill used to process images and to provide meaning to them through schemas which is useful in creating awareness and understanding of changing situations. Evaluation is a cognitive and affective skill that analyses the risk of a situation to create expectations and attributions helps you to decide which action to take. Decision is also a cognitive and affective skill but is used to match options with motives to select optimal responses regarding risks.  Motor skill is perceptual- motor in nature integrating control actions to execute intended maneuvers. Imagination is purely cognitive to develop safety margins and anticipate responses to time, speed, and spatial choices. Motivation is affective and social which controls your transient objectives, needs, emotions, and drives so that you can prioritize and balance goals and objectives. Responsibility is a cognitive, affective and culturally based skill to do with managing your highest level goals and values, directs self- monitoring, and controls transient states.

Driver skills are very important for safety and efficiency of traffic flow. At a personal level ones skills determine the difficulty of the task of driving. This being said the improvement of driving skills can lead to better traffic flow, safer streets and easier operation of the vehicle and driving in general leading to reduced stress from incompetencies although some studies have shown that increased skill has no effect on improving safety. This could be because the increased skill encourages a driver to test the limits of the new skill level.

In the future skills will be learned differently and new skills may be needed as technology is ever increasing and vehicles and roadways are becoming more and more advanced.

Q. 1 (c) Discuss in what way these ideas can help solve society's driving problems. Be specific: what are the main problems and how can particular ideas in these chapters help solve those problems.

The idea of supportive driving can help solve society’s driving problems in many ways. The main way that supportive driving helps is that it eliminates road rage before it starts. By being open minded and non- judgmental of the diverse styles of driving one can see others driving behaviors and look at it in a positive way. By not involving yourself in road rage and negative thoughts towards others you avoid the chance of escalation into a more serious and more dangerous situation. Prevention is the best way to battle road rage and aggressive driving that is stopping it before it starts which is exactly what supportive driving can do. Supportive driving also gives good driving habits for other drivers and children to learn from and model.

Driving skill can also help solve society’s driving problems in additional ways. The skill of the driver is crucial to safety and driver well being. Without skilled drivers the roads would be much more dangerous. Of course there is the skill that involves motor actions (sensorimotor) that help prevent accidents by being able to control the vehicle but there are also other skills that are needed for improving the safety on the road and it is the combination of all the skills listed above that makes a good driver.

Q. 1 (d) Describe any resistance you experience regarding this orientation, including:

(i) the idea that how you drive is a moral issue of human rights
(ii) the idea of lifelong driver education and the idea of mandatory participation in QDC support groups

 

(i). The issue of human rights come sup in many different aspects of the discussion of driving. There are some who claim that devices such as red light cameras, photo radar, and systems that track your movement such as through toll booths are all in violation of peoples rights. The way that you drive can also be an issue of human rights. This is clearly seen in the case where passengers are terrorized by drivers. Passengers are yelled at, told to shut up, and their requests and thoughts are ignored (such as asking to use the restroom or to slow down because they are scared). There is also impeding on others rights when you chose to speed, drive recklessly, or drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol. By choosing to do these types of things you are putting people at risk against there will and forcing your views of safety upon them.

 

(ii). I believe that that lifelong driver education and QDC’s are great ideas to help improve driver capabilities and make drivers better but I think that these ideas will have difficulty catching on. Most people are unwilling to accept that driving is such a big problem and that there are so many preventable injuries, death, and damage every year. Because people do not see driving as a problem they will be unwilling to make changes and go the extra step and take part in life long driver education programs and QDC’s. This blindness to the problem can only be solved by educating people of the seriousness of the situation.

 

Q. 1 (e) Describe the reactions of friends when you tell them about driving personality makeovers

 

Many of my friends were interested in hearing about what goes on in a psychology class devoted entirely to driving. This part of the report was a great way for me to include them in what I was learning and hopefully to teach them something. Their reactions to driving personality makeovers varied for many reasons. I talked to my friends about driving personality makeovers who had different driving experience and outlooks on what driving meant to them so that I would hopefully hear a variety of responses. To all of my friends that I talked with this idea was new and seemed to be very interesting.

 

Caleb’s reaction to driving personality makeovers: Caleb has had his license and has been driving for 5 years and has been in a couple of accidents. When I told him about driver personality makeovers he was pretty interested and even commented right away on how his driving could use some improvement. He especially noted how recently his road rage has been getting worse, especially from reacting to other peoples road rage. He read over some of my report and the section on emotional intelligence caught his eye. He admitted that he brings his emotions from his personal life into the car and that it negatively effects his driving although he wasn’t quite sure that that is what was meant by emotional driving intelligence. I then sent him the link to my homepage so that he could read my outline on the effects of intimate social lives on driving (outline 3 on intimate social lives and driving). I only briefly discussed the idea of driver personality makeovers with him over the computer but when we both have more time or perhaps during my next visit back to Vancouver I will help him set up and carry out his own driver personality makeover.

 

Valin’s reaction: My friend Valin first learned to drive a car when he was 14 and has driven periodically since then but has only obtained his learners permit in the last year and has not received his full license yet. I thought that it would be a good comparison to talk to him about driver personality makeovers because he is still a new driver and has not yet built up the personal image that he is the best driver on the road, as many others assume they are. He was interested by the concept but felt that it did not yet apply to him yet because he was still developing many of his driving behaviors, but he did agree that driver personality makeovers were a good idea for drivers who have been driving for a while and who may have forgot some of what they were originally taught.

 

Keenan’s reaction: I talked to my friend Keenan about driver personality makeovers because he does not drive and I thought his answers would also be good to compare with others. He thinks that the concept is a good idea and that when he does start driving it would be a good thing to remember to help improve his driving as he progresses to stop bad habits before they start, or at least before they become imbedded unconscious behaviors. He also thought that personal makeovers in general were a very helpful tool in improving other aspects of life whether it is school, work, or driving. 

The Question I am answering is Question 3:

 (a) Select three student reports at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups. Be sure you put a link to the report you are quoting from. Summarize what the three students were trying to do, what methods they used, and what they concluded.

(b) Discuss your reactions to what they did – their ideas, their method, and their explanations. What did they gain from doing their reports? How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?

(c) Now go to some driving newsgroups by Googling the phrase driving newsgroups. See if you can corroborate the conclusions of the student reports which were done several years ago. Is this still going on the same way?

__________Answers__________

Q. 3 (a) Select three student reports at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups. Be sure you put a link to the report you are quoting from. Summarize what the three students were trying to do, what methods they used, and what they concluded.

Report 1) Exploring Newsgroups by Jason Thompson

 This student was instructed to view other newsgroup reports from prior generations and do what they did while improving on it by using more psychological concepts to interpret peoples mindsets and behavior in newsgroups. They were also asked to contrast different newsgroups to see if the type of people in the group, the topic, or the tradition had an effect on the way people behave in them. The instructions for this student can be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy11/g11newsgroups.html

Methods: This student started off by searching through newsgroup reports by previous generations then looked at newsgroups of three different subjects of his interest: Wine, Driving, and Surfing. In his report he pasted the newsgroup entries of questions that he had posted, answered or found of particular interest.

Conclusions: This student found that newsgroups are used as a source of information, entertainment, and a way to socialize. Jason states in his report that he has learned how to access and navigate newsgroups to find topics of his interests and has also realized how informative they can be. At the end of his report Jason informs future generations to keep an open mind to newsgroups while viewing them and reporting on them because it gets easier to navigate through them once you get accustomed to it, and also to search for topics that you find interesting so that you are more inclined to spend the amount of time in the newsgroups that is needed for the report and so that it is more enjoyable and less of a task or assignment.

Report 1 can be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups/newsgroups15.html

Report 2) My Experience with Newsgroups: The Diversity of People's Thinking by Janice Kamm

This student was also instructed to view reports done by prior generations and make the previously stated improvements but was also asked to join and take part in a newsgroup. The instructions for this student can be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy13/g13newsgroups.html

Methods: In her report, Janice went on to several driving related newsgroups and found postings that she found interesting then pasted them into her report and made comments on them and related them to her personal experiences.

Conclusions: this person didn’t really any conclusions to their report, just comments on the newsgroup postings that they copied and pasted into their report. She either agreed with the posting or disagreed. She doesn’t believe that people should slow down to see what’s going on at accident scenes or when a police officer has pulled someone over because it slows down the rest of traffic and causes it to get backed up. She also thinks that some proposed laws are to harsh and not the way to stop aggressive drivers such as a proposed law in Maryland to make driving 10 mph over the speed limit a felony. With regard to her final 2 comments she thinks that we are to quick to judge people based on minor incidents such as forgetting to turn on their headlights.

Report 2 can be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups/newsgroup72.html

Report 3) My Experience with Newsgroups, Something to Talk About: Love and Long Distance Relationships

This student had the same instructions as the student above in report 1, review prior generation reports on newsgroups and improve on them. The instructions for this student can be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy11/g11newsgroups.html

Methods: This person searched through numerous newsgroups until she found one that was of interest to her, on long distance relationships. Once she found what she was interested she participated in 4 different newsgroups on the subject. She also pasted in a excerpt of a conversation from the newsgroup and commented on it.

Conclusions: She has concluded that from entering newsgroups people are able to see that they are not alone in their situations and that there are many other people out there in the same situation that they are in. She believes that people reply to postings in an attempt to help others out by providing information that they have or by sharing their thoughts.

Report 3 can be found at: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/499s2003/newsgroups/newsgroups13.html

Q. 3 (b) Discuss your reactions to what they did – their ideas, their method, and their explanations. What did they gain from doing their reports? How do their ideas influence what you yourself think about these issues?

Report 1) I have never taken part in a newsgroup or even known of anyone who has so reading these reports have been very informative to me. I do believe what these students have said about newsgroups being informative but I do not know how much you can trust the source of information. The internet is notorious for giving false and misinterpreted second hand information but for certain subjects for which the validity of the information is not all that important, such as asking for an opinion of something such as a movie, could be very useful. I don’t personally find it all that entertaining to take part in these newsgroups but I can see how they can be a good way to kill time for some. I guess it is another way that people can socialize and interact with other people with similar interests but you have to remember to be careful when meeting people that you met over the internet.

Report 2) I agree with what she was saying about the posted comments for the most part but I do not agree with her comment on the posting about using your headlights in the rain, or on the comment itself. It is another example of how the internet is a source of misinformation. When driving in the rain, snow, or fog, you are supposed to use your fog lights, not your regular lights because the rain, snow, or fog reflects the light and can decrease visibility even more. As for what I think she gained out of doing this report I do not know because she never included a section on her conclusions or added any content other than comments on the newsgroups postings. Overall this report did not influence my opinions on these issues but it has made me more skeptical about newsgroups and the information that is being passed on through them.

Report 3) For people who feel isolated from friends or family, for reasons such as being in a new town and not having anyone to talk to, I suppose that newsgroups could be a good source of information as long as its validity is not important. It is a good way to obtain others opinions I think, if that is what you are looking for. As for her actual report it would be nice if she had copied and pasted her questions that she posted in the newsgroups and their answers because her links to them no longer work. I think the way she conducted her report, by actually joining and participating in newsgroups helped her gain better understanding of how they work and what they are about. She claims that she has learned about what she was seeking information on that is, long distance relationships and the meaning of love. She found that people are very opinionated on newsgroups and respond based on personal experience.

Q. 3 (c) Now go to some driving newsgroups by Googling the phrase driving newsgroups. See if you can corroborate the conclusions of the student reports which were done several years ago. Is this still going on the same way?

I found this newsgroup when searching, http://unison2.poptel.org.uk/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000006.html, I am not sure if it is a driving newsgroup but it did have an interesting fact which seems to be quoted from a credible source, although a little out of date (2001). It mentions the problem of work related deaths that occur on the road. At the time it mentions that the more than 1000 deaths a year on the road for the area (I believe the UK or England) is nearly three times the number of people who die at the workplace in a year. I can only imagine that this proportion has grown even more.

I read through a series of messages and replies on Google group’s rec.auto.driving (even more stupid cop tricks) and I found it quite useless. A few guys were arguing over some ridiculous claim about how if police officers are driving fast and in control, why cant a civilian in the same car as them do the same maneuvers with the same amount of safety (mentioning that police Ford Crown Victoria’s are not much different than stock ones available to the public) without receiving a ticket. This has further replaced the negative attitude toward newsgroups that was given to me as my first impression of them by reading through student reports.

As I continued to browse through the Google driving newsgroup I came across an interesting topic (most dangerous activities while driving). The first person in the discussion listed what in her opinion where the most dangerous things to do while driving: drunk driving, talking on phone, passing on the right, failure to use signal lights, driving too fast/too slow compared to traffic flow, eating at the wheel. I found these to be pretty dangerous. I especially liked the comment about driving to fast or too slow compared to the traffic flow, which is a topic that I discussed in my oral 2. I thought that this was a very intellectual answer, something that I don’t think I would have known without taking this class. I don’t know if this girl has taken this class or some similar course, but it has given me the hope that there might just be intelligent conversations going on in newsgroups worth looking for.

In reading through student reports on driving newsgroups one of the purposes that I came across quite often was that they were a source of entertainment. I found quite an amusing story on one posting from the same newsgroup as the previous two (most dangerous activities while driving 2). “Driver Courtesy: It has to do with a persistent rumor that my driving skills are somewhat lacking. This story should put to rest all such idle gossip. Last Saturday morning, I needed to get coffee to lift that not-quite-awake-yet morning fog. I shuffled into my car, drove down my street, and had to make a left onto a busy cross street. I kept inching forward to see if there was a clearing in the traffic, when it occurred to me that I had drifted out too far. I threw the car into reverse, hit the gas, and slammed into something. I thought it was a signpost, and couldn't help imagining how silly I must have looked backing into a signpost. The traffic cleared, I made the left and, looking back toward the area I had just left, saw a guy angrily getting out of his car to check his bumper. It was only then that I realized that I had backed into the car behind me. It simply never occurred to me to check my rearview mirror. The next morning I was at the same intersection. The lady in front of me had also inched forward too far, and I saw her check her mirror, shift into reverse, and slowly backup. I thought to myself "you see that, you see how she checked her mirror before backing up, she's an excellent driver, I should reward such an excellent driver by making room for her." So I threw the car into reverse, hit the gas, and slammed into the car behind me”.

I guess I came to the same conclusions by reading through newsgroups as I did by reading about others who had looked through them. They are a source of information that can sometimes be useful, and sometimes be uncredible; they are a form of socializing and a form of entertainment.

The Question I am answering is Question 4:

 (a) Consider Table 5 in the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy24/409a-g24-lecture-notes.htm#Charts  Read the article from which the Table was taken. Copy and paste the table into your file. Describe the Table in your own words: what is for, what it says, what it shows.

(b) Copy the Table again and paste it again. But this time delete the examples in each cell and replace them with your own examples that you make up. Title this Section: My Version of the Table. Explain what your table shows and how you came up with it. Discuss your Table with friends. Summarize their reactions. Summarize your reactions to their reactions.

(c) Discuss why driving is such a big problem in all societies and why no effective solutions have yet been found for them. Refer to our two textbooks for examples of some of the world wide problems and solutions proposed. Be sure to refer to the author and page numbers.  What likelihood is there that his approach will be adopted? Explain.

__________Answers__________

Q. 4 (a) Consider Table 5 in the Lecture Notes, in the Section on Driving Psychology Theory and Charts at www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy24/409a-g24-lecture-notes.htm#Charts  Read the article from which the Table was taken. Copy and paste the table into your file. Describe the Table in your own words: what is for, what it says, what it shows.

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."

Summary of Table 5: This table is used to give examples of both emotionally intelligent driving skills as well as emotionally unintelligent driving errors by using quotes that a driver might make during the testing of specific driver competency skills, which are in the left hand column.

Row 1 talks about focusing on the self versus blaming others or the situation. The emotionally unintelligent (reptilian response) shows negative emotions and perceptions of other drivers who appear to be slow. The example is emotionally unintelligent because the person is cutting down other drivers by calling them jerks and blaming them for the problem at hand. The emotionally intelligent (cortical driving) box gives an example of what a positive driver might say in that they are trying to find an internal source of the problem, or if there even is one, before they jump to conclusions and blame those around them.

Row 2 goes over how to understand how feelings and thoughts act together to create both emotionally intelligent and unintelligent driving behaviors. Again the emotionally unintelligent box is saying that others are purposely trying to do wrong to the driver without thinking first about what is said in the emotionally intelligent box where the driver assesses the situation more clearly since nothing has actually gone wrong, the unintelligent driver is showing signs of catastrophising.

Row 3 touches on realizing that anger is something we choose rather than thinking that it is provoked. This is very common in all aspects of life. Emotionally unintelligent people will always try to blame others for what they did or what has happened but an emotionally intelligent person will think before reacting and opening there mouth to lay blame and think about the true cause of the anger, which is the emotional self breaking down. All emotions can be controlled, all it takes is practice. This is one of the hardest aspects of emotional control that I find people have in controlling their emotions and becoming more emotionally intelligent. It is a hard concept to grasp for many untrained people that the source of all emotions are internal.

Row 4 is about being concerned about consequences rather than giving in to impulses. Emotionally intelligent drivers will be able to control their anger or frustration or whatever it might be because they can foresee further possible negative outcomes and needless escalation. The emotionally unintelligent driver on the other hand will let their tongue slip, possibly their middle finger, and in some cases much worse things can happen. The situation needs to be left to diffuse in order for anything positive t become of it.

Row 5 comments on showing respect for others and their rights versus thinking only of ones self. Here an emotionally intelligent driver needs to recognize that many problems our out of their control and as much as they wish that other drivers would get out of their way, it is not possible to make people and traffic disappear. An emotional driver must also think about what other drivers are thinking about them, which is probably the same thing, so it is only fair to respect others as you wish for them to respect you.

Row 6 helps explain how to be accepting traffic as collective team work instead of seeing it as individual competition. In this case emotionally intelligent drivers will be able to see that their driving behavior affects other road users and by performing unexpected and unanticipated actions such as switching in and out of lanes and altering speeds to try to get ahead only increases the risk for all road users. If drivers all understood that the flow of traffic is negatively affected by individuals trying to get ahead, or by others going to slow, then traffic could flow more smoothly and predictably at speeds of lower variability and increased safety.

Row 7 covers recognizing the diversity of drivers and their needs and styles as opposed to blaming them for what they choose to do. In order to increase emotional intelligence drivers need to recognize the diversity of drivers and the different uses that the road and automobiles provide them with. Not everybody is exactly alike and chances are if you have a problem with the way another style of driver drives many people will probably have a problem with your own style of driving. The example above of the emotionally unintelligent driver is a good example of showing the negative aspect of the situation. It is true that another driver on a cellular phone may be distracted from the road and increase the risk level, but another person obsessing about it and letting their emotions rage out of control can be even more distracted form the road and pose a greater risk.

Row 8 gives examples of practicing positive role models versus negative ones. Here are good examples of how a driver’s emotional intelligence can either increase or decrease the risk of an accident in a given situation. By being patient the emotionally intelligent driver allows for possible reasons of why the other driver is going slowly. Perhaps the car is having trouble or the driver is looking for an address and might suddenly stop. By not tailing the slow driver a possible rear end collision is avoided.

Row 9 discusses learning to inhibit the impulse to criticize by developing a sense of driving humor. By adding a sense of humor into driving it sheds light onto what might normally be negative and anger arousing situations thus diffusing possible escalations of the problem. I personally like this idea the best. It allows you to acknowledge someone else’s possible mistakes but without blaming anyone for them. It is also known that by putting a smile on your face, whether real or not can help stimulate the moods of other drivers as well.

Row 10 talks about taking driving seriously by becoming aware of one’s mistakes and correcting them. This is a very important step in emotional intelligence as well as improving driving behavior. Recognizing your negative attributes is one of the most difficult steps in the road to driver self improvement and is also the first step. Without being able to recognize what is wrong there is no way one can fix the problem.

This table is informative for both people educated in driving psychology and those not. By providing sample comments to certain topics and ideas one does not necessarily need to understand them fully but can enter their skills and errors into the appropriate categories based on similarity of comments to these hypothetical situations.

The above table originates from http://www.drdriving.org/articles/driving_psy.htm

Q. 4 (b) Copy the Table again and paste it again. But this time delete the examples in each cell and replace them with your own examples that you make up. Title this Section: My Version of the Table. Explain what your table shows and how you came up with it. Discuss your Table with friends. Summarize their reactions. Summarize your reactions to their reactions.

My Version of The Table
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 every one driving so poorly just to piss me off”

 “Me and my girlfriend have been fighting, maybe that’s why I am getting so aggravated at everyone else

2. Understanding how feelings and thoughts act together

“I’m sad, tired, and my mind is elsewhere. I don’t feel like paying attention to these other drivers.”

 

“I’m sad, tired, and my mind is elsewhere. But if I don’t stay alert to what’s going on the road I may get in an accident.”
 

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

 “I hate when people don’t use their blinkers, it makes me so angry”

“I don’t have to get angry over such a little thing as someone not using their turning signals.” 

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

 “I missed my turn; I need to make a U turn.”

“I missed my turn; I have to find somewhere where I can safely and legally make a U turn.” 

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

 “Why are these people in the fast lane, they are going so much slower than me.”

“They are driving slower than me but they are going faster than the other lanes, maybe when they pass the other cars they will move over so I can pass them.”
 

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

 “I’m in my car, they are in theirs, I will go as slow as I want to go.”
 

 “If I don’t speed up I will slow up all the cars behind me and aggravate a lot of people.”

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

 “Why the hell are these guys driving so slow, I hate driving down Kalākaua. I just want to get out and get in the water.”

“These guys are to busy checking out the girls at the beach, I better not follow too closely they seem distracted.”
 

8. Practicing positive role models vs. negative

 “Your car won’t fit in that stall, learn how to parallel park. If you’re not out of my way fast I’m going to start honking at you.”
 

 “This guy is not a very skilled driver; I’ll let him have the extra time he needs.”
 

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

 “What! You don’t see me? Thanks for cutting me off.”
 

 “Oh ya, I don’t exist, go ahead cut right in.”
 

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

 “I’ve never crashed my car no matter how much I have drank.”

“One day it is likely that I might get in an accident, and even if it is not my fault I will be blamed if I have alcohol in my system.”

Summary of my version of the table: I came up with my entries in this table by first reading the original table and the report that it originated from. After that I thought of how I react to different situations and even took note of my reactions while I was in my care responding to how other drivers performed around me. I tried to use personally examples or ones that might come from people I know. I did this so that it would provide the most likely chance of me being able to learn from this and to tech others such as my friends.

I discussed this report with a few of my friends and had them read over the original chart as well as other parts of this report and material from the course so that they could gain a broader understanding of what I was doing. Some how I was not too surprised with most of my friends reactions since we are all very similar and I know them so well. Some of my comments that I wrote in my version of the chart were what I thought might come out of their mouths. It turned out that some of them were right on the mark. They found the quotes in the chart to be quite amusing but a little euphemistic. They believe that the actual words used would be harsher (but would not e appropriate for a school report). They found that my comments generalized to them pretty well and also that I was doing a job of being honest about using the things that actually affect my driving in a negative way.

Q. 4 (c) Discuss why driving is such a big problem in all societies and why no effective solutions have yet been found for them. Refer to our two textbooks for examples of some of the world wide problems and solutions proposed. Be sure to refer to the author and page numbers.  What likelihood is there that his approach will be adopted? Explain.

 I believe that driving is such a big problem across all societies because it is in human nature to be competitive, dislike restrictions to our freedom and movement, and that time pressures are becoming more and more evident. Also as globalization spreads the influence of media on our actions is becoming greater. There are many accidents and injuries caused by competition on the road. Whether it is trying to pass on the highway, make the next light, not get passed by others, or actual racing, the feeling of competitiveness and need to be ahead drives people all over the world to drive dangerously. The idea of driving originally offered freedom to move around the country, and in our vehicles we are King or Queen, but the rules and restrictions put in place to keep us safe make us feel like our new found sense of freedom and authority are being taken away. This creates negative attitudes towards rules, laws, and those who create and enforce them. As time to westerners is becoming more and more valuable, and we are multi tasking constantly, we are also becoming more impatient because time wasted translates into money wasted. This is encouraging people to speed more in an attempt o save time on commuting as well as in other aspects of life. The media also plays a huge role on the way that we drive because positive driving behaviors are rarely modeled. Also with everybody driving so poorly we are only making a negative feedback loop because we are setting up negative behaviors to be modeled for our children and those around us who are learning or will be learning how to drive.

Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl offer some examples from other countries such as Canada, New Zealand, India, Greece, Philippines, Thailand, and Slovenia that help illustrate that the problem with aggressive driving is a world wide phenomenon (Road Rage and Aggressive Driving, pp. 25- 27). There examples range from traffic and congestion to aggressive driving and road rage such as flashing lights at other drivers, honking, making rude comments and gestures, tail gaiting, cutting off other vehicles, all the way up to physical violence. They state that “road rage and aggressive driving are worldwide phenomena, rooted in cultural ideology (p27)”.

To counteract this cultural ideology of road rage and aggressive driving several possible solutions are proposed by Dr. James and Dr. Nahl. The most interesting idea to me was the concept of chapter 9, lifelong driver education. One particular section of interest to me was the idea of starting driver education in kindergarten (p. 197). I think this would be great to start driver education at such a young age so that they learn the fundamentals before they learn the sensorimotor aspect of maneuvering a vehicle. I think I would have really enjoyed learning about driving as a small child because I have always been so fascinated with cars and driving. It is a shame that the benefits that this could provide are not seen by enough people to get the plan started and it is unlikely that it will gain public support because people are still denying or just don’t know how many people are injured and killed a year and how much property damage and other monetary losses occur.

Another concept to help with the driving problem that Dr. James and Dr. Nahl mention in their book is quality driving circles (QDC’s, p. 199). Group support is a great way to get something accomplished, especially when most people do not have the motivation to do it on there own. The concept of QDC’s is to have a voluntary group of members to help encourage one another to improve their driving. I think that QDC’s are capable of making a change in peoples driving behaviors but the members of QDC’s have to know what they are talking about. They need to know what their negative driving behaviors are and what positive driving behaviors, and then they need to know how to convert them from the negative to the positive.

Te textbook Driving Lessons: Exploring systems that make traffic safer has many ideas on how to decrease traffic accidents but I don’t find that it addresses the global issue of problematic driving in the way that our other textbook, Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering clear of highway warfare, does. This textbook does offer useful information on how to personally improve driving such as in the section on Driver self witnessing (p.34), thinking aloud about your actions to become aware of negative behaviors. I found that many of the examples in this book were based more on improving road conditions, medical response times, traffic, and driving at a sensorimotor level mainly rather that incorporating methods on how to improve the affective and cognitive selves and changing cultural norms.

The Question I am answering is Question 5:

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

(i) Exercise on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings on p. 65-66
(ii) Exercise on Are You an Aggressive Competitor on p. 104-5
(iii) Exercise on Positive Driving Behaviors on p. 212-3
(iv) Exercise on Your Passive Aggressive Road Rage Tendency on p. 88-9

(b) Discuss your reactions to each exercise? How do you explain your answers? You can give your answers in their entirety or you can make selections. What do they show about your driving personality? Where did you get this style of reacting and driving? Discuss how these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.

(c) 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 with specific examples.

__________Answers__________

Q. 5 (a) Our textbook Road Rage and Aggressive Driving has checklist exercises in several chapters. Do the following four exercises:

(i) Exercise on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings on p. 65-66

Driving Area 1: Fantasies of Retaliation and Revenge

1.      ___ When others cut in front of me so that I have to break, I feel like crashing into them to teach them a lesson.

2.      ___ When I encounter road- hugging pedestrians, I feel like pushing them out of my way.

3.      _X_ When drivers become aggressive by tailgating me, I enjoy slowing down to pay them back.

4.      ___ When I’m under stress due to work, I get very edgy and take it out on other drivers.

5.      _X_ I don’t think passengers should tell me how to drive and I let them know when they try.

6.      ___ If motorists around me act cocky and drive recklessly, I get into a rebellious mood.

7.      _X_ I passionately hate drivers who think they are the only ones on the road and act carelessly.

8.      ___ When a driver cuts me off and slows down, I feel like ramming that car.

9.      _X_ I get nasty thoughts about drivers who force their way into my lane, especially without signaling.

10.  ___ I feel like ramming them to smarten them up about doing dangerous things (eating, putting on makeup, reading, talking on the phone, etc.) while they should be paying attention to the road.

11.  ___ When people run or walk on the shoulder of the highway I feel like swerving toward them to scare them off the road for good.

12.  ___ When slow cyclists take up a whole lane so that I can’t pass and refuse to move when I honk, I feel like whipping by so close they lose their balance and fall.

Driving Area 2: High- Pressure Driving and Competition

13.  ___ When a car gets in my way I don’t like it and try to get around it even if it means taking some risks.

14.  _X_ In heavy traffic I feel a constant desire to weave across lanes, trying to get ahead.

15.  _X_ I’m a “gap closer” and I make sure no one enters my lane in front of me.

16.  ___ When I’m late, I have no patience and tailgate slower motorists in my way.

17.  _X_ If it was up to me, I’d have everybody else get off the road until I pass- like the president.

18.  _X_ I like the idea of saluting careless drivers “with respect” (flipping them off with my hand safely out of view under the dashboard).

19.  _X_ I don’t have respect for drivers who forget to turn their blinkers on or off.

Driving Area 3: Impulsive and Reckless Driving

20.  ___ Showing off to friends is something I do because I am expected to take risks and not act like a coward.

21.  _X_ I enjoy loud, fast music while I drive- lets me feel free!

22.  _X_ When I drive late at night and the road is clear, I like to go fast no matter what the signs say.

23.  ___ When I’m in a rush and upset I cut in front of cars and rush through yellow lights.

24.  _X_ If I had a few drinks but feel alright, I take the chance and drive home anyway.

25.  _X_ When I’m tired I become less alert, but I still need to drive. I have no choice.

26.  ___ Going through red lights should only be done when you’re absolutely sure there are no cars that can show up in your way.

27.  ___ I love to hear the tires screech when I take turns fast. It’s a nice sound. Makes me feel alive. 

(ii) Exercise on Are You an Aggressive Competitor on p. 104-5

1.      _X_ I really hate it when traffic is congested and I can’t get ahead of others because I feel like I’m losing.

2.      _X_ I’ve discovered that I can force my way into any lane by being pushy.

3.      ___ I believe the law that prevails on the road is the law of the jungle- we might as well face it: the most aggressive drivers end up getting what they want.

4.      _X_ I’m driving in the left lane in heavy traffic and trying to switch lanes to the right lane to make a right turn at the next intersection. The driver in the car next to me sees my signal and closes the gap, preventing me from entering the lane. I miss my turn as a result. This proves that he purposely kept me out.

5.      _X_ I love it when I pass a long line of waiting cars, then when I cut in front of the line. Victory! Only losers wait in line.

6.      ___ A lot of drivers can see that I’m in a hurry. So what do they do? They intentionally try to slow me down or block my way. That’s how they get their kicks.

7.      _X_ I need lots of space between me and everyone behind me. I’m a natural leader, so I feel best when I’m way out in front.

8.      ___ When traffic is heavy, drivers have to compete against each other or else one gets left behind. The better you compete one the road, the better you can do your job, and the more useful you are to society.

9.      ___ It’s necessary to drive in a competitive manner because the other drivers are very competitive. I’m expected to be competitive on the road.

10.  ___ As the streets are getting more crowded, drivers make each other angry. It’s a competitive situation and I can’t afford to worry too much about how my driving makes others angry because we all make each other angry.

(iii) Exercise on Positive Driving Behaviors on p. 212-3

1.      _X_ Putting on the turn signal in consideration of others; thinking of how to reduce stress for others.

2.      ___ Feeling responsible for creating a stress for other road users; wanting to evolve an altruistic attitude in traffic.

3.      _X_ Concentrating on developing better on-ramp merging skills by focusing on leaving enough space to pickup speed.

4.      ___ Creating positive mental scenarios and avoiding pessimism; saying, “Traffic is not too bad. I’ll just relax,” versus “Traffic is awful. I’ll never get home.”

5.      _X_ Driving with greater awareness; understanding the differences in peoples’ expectations in the left and right lanes; consciously managing following distance to keep it safe, following the three second rule.

6.      _X_ Consciously practicing how to handle common obstacles to traffic flow; for instance, when a lane is closed and merging is required.

7.      _X_ Compensating for the “blind spot” by always using both side and rearview mirrors and turning your head for better view.

8.      _X_ Merging properly when a lane is closed by remaining in your lane until reaching the merging point.

9.      ___ Learning to avoid mental violence as retaliation; not letting frustration lead to aggressiveness and hostility.

10.  _X_ Avoiding the symbols of competition in driving, like racing to get there first, wanting to pass all cars, feeling ridiculed when a lot of cars pass you, impulsively cutting in.

11.  ___ Practicing nodding instead of shaking your head at traffic.

12.  ___ Recognizing higher motivations in driving, like fairness, civility, morality, altruism, religion, or spirituality.

13.  ___ Giving up a “laissez- faire” attitude toward other drivers, such as “What’s happening to that driver is not my problem.”

14.  _X_ Being willing o figure things out ahead of time, like how late to leave, when to turn, which way to go, when to change lanes, with the goal of avoiding making unpredictable, impulsive moves that other drivers can’t interpret.

(iv) Exercise on Your Passive Aggressive Road Rage Tendency on p. 88-9

1.      ___ I insist on driving at the speed limit in the passing lane because it’s the law.

2.      ___ I hold up a long line of drivers on a one- lane road.

3.      _X_ I ignore drivers who try to enter my lane, closing the gap.

4.      ___ I ignore yield signs.

5.      ___ I don’t bother giving proper signals.

6.      ___ I am slow to get going when traffic lights turn green.

7.      ___ I show insufficient alertness or consideration to drivers and conditions.

8.      _X_ I repeatedly tap the breaks or slow way down to retaliate against a tailgater.

9.      ___ I take my time entering and leaving parking spaces, especially when someone is waiting for me.

10.  _X_ I make gestures and facial expressions to myself to show my disapproval of pushy drivers.

Q. 5 (b) Discuss your reactions to each exercise? How do you explain your answers? You can give your answers in their entirety or you can make selections. What do they show about your driving personality? Where did you get this style of reacting and driving? Discuss how these exercises help you to become more aware of yourself as a driver.

(i) Exercise on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings on p. 65-66

Driving Area 1: Fantasies of Retaliation and Revenge: As I first read through and did this exercise I found my self to be a little angrier behind the wheel than I consciously thought. If I had done this checklist with out have had taking this course I would of thought some of the questions to be a little to extreme, but from hearing what others in the class have to say and by learning more about the seriousness of road rage and the types of things that go on in peoples minds it doesn’t seem that extreme at all.

Driving Area 2: High- Pressure Driving and Competition: Again without having done this exercise I would have never come to agree with myself that I am a competitive driver and that these checklists are proving to be very helpful in pointing out my driving weaknesses so that I can try to correct them.

Driving Area 3: Impulsive and Reckless Driving: This checklist pointed out some things that I do when I drive, such as going above the speed limit at night with no cars on the road and listening to my music loud, that I didn’t think would be considered impulsive or reckless but now that I think about the behaviors in more detail I see how they are.

(ii) Exercise on Are You an Aggressive Competitor on p. 104-5: This exercise like the second part of the first exercise made me realize my driving competitiveness, although I feel that the questions that I put X’s next to were less severe questions than the ones that I left blank.

(iii) Exercise on Positive Driving Behaviors on p. 212-3: I found some of my answers here to somewhat contradict my other answers, and I hope that what I was doing is not what many drivers do and over estimate my driving skills and underestimate my weaknesses.

(iv) Exercise on Your Passive Aggressive Road Rage Tendency on p. 88-9: I was pleased to see better results with this exercise. From our discussions in class and from reading the textbooks I felt that I might be more of a passive aggressive driver than this checklist may show.

Q. 5 (c) 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 with specific examples.

 I went over exercises (i) Exercise on Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings on p. 65-66 and (ii) Exercise on Are You an Aggressive Competitor on p. 104-5 with one of my friends. Going over these exercises with another driver helped me gain a better understanding of certain principles of driving psychology such as the following:

The first exercise helped me become more aware of the things to look for and the types of questions to ask yourself when trying to recognize your own negative driving behaviors and errors. This is especially useful when trying to come up with a driver personality makeover for myself or with another driver.

The first exercise also helped me better understand the importance of emotional self control behind the wheel (p.62). The first step mentioned in becoming more capable of regulating emotions is accurate self appraisal. This is similar to what I mentioned just previously. With out knowing what to regulate we can not improve the safety of ourselves and other drivers on the road.

The second exercise helped me with understanding how to help others with understanding the dangers associated with competitive driving behaviors. Many of my friends that I discussed these topics with did not believe that they were a certain kind of driver, such as competitive, but by having them fill out the checklist it helped them think more about what it was that they did on the road and how it is competitive. Again this exercise was also useful in pointing out personal problems with driving and that is what the checklists are made for. Realizing the behavior that needs to be changed is the first and most important step to improvement, I have mentioned this many times but it is so important that it is necessary to be repeated over and over so that it is understood.

The Question I am answering is Question 7:

 (a) Find 3 road rage newspaper stories on the Web that give enough detail that you can reconstruct enough of the interactions to do a scenario analysis of events (you can use google News for this). The Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book gives some examples (see the Book Index under "Scenario analysis: There is also an example in the Lecture Notes in the Section on Charts at Table 7 -- see www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy24/409a-g24-lecture-notes.htm#Charts

(b) Try to reconstruct the interactions of each News story you selected by making a list or table of the steps, as illustrated in our textbook. Apply driving psychology principles to explain what's going on and whether this is a necessary or avoidable outcome.

__________Answers__________

Q. 7 (a) Find 3 road rage newspaper stories on the Web that give enough detail that you can reconstruct enough of the interactions to do a scenario analysis of events (you can use Google News for this). The Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book gives some examples (see the Book Index under "Scenario analysis”: There is also an example in the Lecture Notes in the Section on Charts at Table 7 -- see www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy24/409a-g24-lecture-notes.htm#Charts

Web article 1) Man Gets 10 Years in Road Rage Death. http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060302/NEWS/603020364/-1/NEWS01

Web article 2) Councilman charged in alleged road rage. http://www.bergen.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk1NSZmZ2JlbDdmN3ZxZWVFRXl5Njg4ODk4NCZ5cmlyeTdmNzE3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTM=

Web article 3) Trial Opens in road rage death near Anaheim Stadium http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1021193.php

Q. 7 (b) Try to reconstruct the interactions of each News story you selected by making a list or table of the steps, as illustrated in our textbook. Apply driving psychology principles to explain what's going on and whether this is a necessary or avoidable outcome.

Scenario Analysis of Web Article 1

Emotionally challenged behavior

Segment from the article

State how each step contributes to trouble.

Suggest smarter behavior.

1.  Cutting off motorcyclists

 “August and fellow motorcyclist… were trying to turn left… when Miller cut them off at the intersection”

 Cutting off another motorist provokes anger by invading their space of comfort on the road.

 He shouldn’t have cut off other drivers.

2.  Pulling over and accepting confrontation

 “[Miller] drove about 100 yards past them…[and] stopped his 1992 Suburban”

 By pulling over the driver is inviting the motorcyclists into a fight.

 He should have continued driving as if nothing had happened.

3.  Obscene gestures

 “a dispute that also featured obscene finger gestures”

 Obscene gestures and language further increase the energy and potential for violence in the conflict.

 Act calmly and maturely without using any aggressive words or gestures.

4.  Turning around and chasing motorcyclists/ speeding

 “After driving about a mile west of the confrontation site on Del. 44, turned and pursued the two men at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour.”

 The driver of the SUV could have left the scene with the situation diffused but chose to further the confrontation by chasing after the motorcyclists.  

 Again, continue on as if the incident had not occurred, or call the police and report the damage which they did to your truck.

5. using vehicle as a weapon

 “Miller’s vehicle eventually hit August’ motorcycle from behind” and “Miller also side swiped Passwaters’ motorcycle, causing him to lose control and break two fingers”

 It is obvious here that nothing but trouble can result from a man using a SUV as a weapon to strike a motorcyclist who is exposed during a crash and does not have the safety provided by an enclosed vehicle.

 Do not use your vehicle as a weapon.

6. Not accepting responsibility

 “he never called for help for the two men” then he left the state changed his appearance and had the damages on his car fixed.

 By leaving the scene of the crime the driver of the SUV puts the motorcyclists at greater harm because they are not treated for their injuries as quickly as possible, and could also prevent death in other incidences.

 He should have realized what he had done, called an ambulance to help the two men, and turned himself in to the police rather than going through all the trouble of running and changing his appearance.

7. Drinking and driving

 “Miller and an unidentified companion reportedly had four beers and two mixed drinks each at a Dover bar before the confrontation”

 Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol greatly impair your driving skills and increase the risk of accident and injury to yourself and other road users, it is also against the law. Being under the influence of alcohol could also be the cause to increased aggressive actions in an altercation.

 You should never drink and drive, he could have called a cab or have had a sober friend drive.

 

Scenario Analysis of Web Article 2

Emotionally challenged behavior

Segment from the article

State how each step contributes to trouble.

Suggest smarter behavior.

1.  Backing into oncoming traffic

 “Kerr backed his Dodge Durango into traffic”

 By backing into traffic without looking puts other road users in danger and also causes other drivers to stop and wait which can lead to aggravation because their schedules are being impeded on.

 He should have looked to see if there were any oncoming cars, then back into the roadway one it is clear of cars and pedestrians.

2.  Over reacting to someone honking at him by following and tailgating the girl

 “Kerr… then followed Cosney's vehicle”

Following someone is not good because the person followed may feel threatened and retaliate, or may get scared and try to race away. Both of which put themselves and others in danger.

He should not have tailgated or followed her; instead he should have taken the honk with a grain of salt, and given her a wave to acknowledge his wrong doing.

3.  getting out of car at stop sign to escalate situation by screaming at the other driver

 “At a stop sign, he pulled up behind her car, got out of his truck, and approached her screaming obscenities through the open driver's side window”

 This takes the confrontation to the next level. It no longer is confined to the inside of the car and the potential for physical assault is greatly increased.

 He should have stayed in his car, and should not have been following her to begin with. He needed to have more control over his emotions.

4.  Using vehicle to block other drivers path and more verbal abuse

 “When she tried to make a right at a traffic light to get to a police station, Kerr passed on the right, and blocked her path, and screamed through her passenger's side window”

 This is extremely dangerous because it could easily cause an accident and if the driver was to go around the car blocking her she may hit another vehicle or pedestrian because her attention is diverted to the driver pursuing her.

He should have left the confrontation long before it escalated to this point, he needs to control his anger/ temper.

5. Denying responsibility for the situation

“Kerr was merely trying to communicate with Cosney when the incident occurred”

These two things both add to the situation being resolved in an untimely matter and add to the frustration and further suffering of the victim because justice is not met.

Accept that what he did was dangerous and wrong.

6.  Putting the blame on the other person

“All I can say is that I was concerned for my kids' safety"

Stop trying to make excuses and tying to blame the other person, realize that you can make mistakes.

 

Scenario Analysis of Web Article 3

Emotionally challenged behavior

Segment from the article

State how each step contributes to trouble.

Suggest smarter behavior.

1. Lack of emotional control

“an exchange of middle fingers and curse words”

 This aggravates one another and puts the two parties into a situation of who will back down first, and as we have learned the competitive world we live in rarely allows for backing down to occur.

 The people in both cars should have let the minor problem dissolve by ignoring it before it escalated to what it did.

2.  acting before thinking of the consequences

“Mike Decker saw the handgun being waved”

 By pulling a gun the other driver’s and passenger’s lives are threatened which could lead to erratic and desperate actions.

 The gunman should have never pulled the gun, and should not carry a gun in his car which would prevent access in times of anger.

3.  this is actually a good emotional behavior but it is followed up by an emotionally challenged one

"Hey man, it’s not worth it. Let’s go."

 This was a good idea by the passenger but the driver interpreted it as “RUN”.

 The passenger should have reminded the driver not race off and to stay calm.

4.  Reckless driving, endangering others

“He tried to heed that advice and get away from two angry strangers in a Honda sedan, but he couldn’t drive his Mustang fast enough or far enough.”

 This puts other drivers and themselves at high risk of injury or death, especially when combined with the high speeds of vehicles on the freeway.

 The driver should have stayed on the freeway driving safely with the flow of traffic while trying to contact the police on a cellular phone or by driving to a police station.

5. Putting self and passenger at greater risk of being shot

“when he became trapped in traffic after darting off the freeway”

 By exiting the freeway onto roads with traffic lights and slow moving traffic it led to the chance for the gunman to get out and approach the trapped car.

 He should have stayed on the freeway so that the gunman could not approach his car and only exited when near a police station

6. Going to far and threatening some ones life

“the passenger in the other car pointed the gun at his face and said, "Now what?’ “

 By getting out of the car and approaching another vehicle and posing the question “what now” while holding a gun takes away the sense of control and power of the other person and may cause an unknown reaction.

 The gunman should have never exited the vehicle to approach the other car, and if he was to should definitely not brought the gun.

7. Killing another person

“Decker, 29, was then cut down in a flurry of bullets as he tried to get between the man with the gun and his stepbrother”

 Killing another person puts you in deep trouble with the law and chance of regret once the situation and adrenaline has subsided.

 The gunman should have never committed murder over such a small reason as a traffic incident.

8. chasing after fleeing suspects

The two men fled from the scene after the shooting, but Keil gave chase in the Mustang. rammed the Honda and forced it to stop”

Chasing after them and ramming them puts other road users in extreme danger

He should have followed only long enough to get their license plate and a description of the suspects and vehicle then report it immediately to the police, and call an ambulance for his brother.

  My Report on the Previous Generations

Summary of report 2, Karis Amano, G23: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409af2005/amano/amano-409a-g23-report2.htm

In this report Karis Amano did something similar to my report above. The first question he answered was similar to my first question which was to summarize the two class textbooks, summarize an additional chapter from each book in more detail, of which chapter 7 from “Road Rage and Aggressive Driving,” entitled, “Children and Road Rage” and chapter 14 from “Driving Lessons,” entitled, “Driver Skill, Performance and Behavior” were chosen, discuss how those ideas contributed to driving problems and make any further comments.

The second question that was answered was about summarizing reports from a list of previous reports and adding additional comments such as a reaction to them, what the authors gained by doing the reports, and how their ideas had influence on her. http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/ahsing/report2.htm, http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/chun/report2.htm, http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/409af2001/sophie/report2.htm.

For her third question she was to look at table 5 which is included in my report above, make her own version of the table, then discuss the universal problem of driving and some solutions to these problems as proposed by Dr. Leon James.

Her fourth question was similar to one that I did in my above report in which she filled out some of the checklists in the “Road Rage and Aggressive Driving” textbook and added her reactions to the exercises as well as asking another driver to complete some of the exercises.  

Her final question was to explain “supportive driving” according to the 3 fold self and describe her friend’s reactions to being told about driving personality makeovers. After she had answered these 5 questions she also reported on prior generations as I am now (http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005/golder/409a-g22-report2.htm, http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005/beeler/409a-g22-report2.htm, http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005/bergeron/409a-g22-report2.htm) and add advice to future generations.

Summary of report 2, Jenine Goto, G23: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409af2005/goto/goto-409a-g23-report2.htm

Janine’s first question was the same as Karis Amano’s first question above but she chose to summarize chapter 4 from the Road Rage and Aggressive Driving book called “The Road Rage Spectrum.”She also summarized chapter 7 from the Driving Lessons book titled, “Driving Identities Over the Lifespan.” 

In her second question she discussed and went over the differences of the following 2 websites: drivers.com vs. drdriving.org

For her third question she did the same as in the previous summary in which she summarized and made comments on previous generation’s reports. She chose 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.

The fourth question she answered was like in the previous summary, on table 5.

Her final question was to go over some of the checklists in the textbook and respond on her reactions to the exercise. She too also reported on previous generation reports done by Leanna Bergeron, Justin Golder, and Kyle Takeshima. She also had some good advice for future generations.

Other G23 reports can be found at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409af2005/

Summary of Report 2, Jordyn Shark, G24: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005/Shark/409a-g22-report2.htm

The first question that Jordyn answered was similar to what I had to do in my first report (my report 1). The question asks to consult tables 1-4 in the course lecture notes (Lecture Notes) about Driver Behavior as Skills and Errors in Three Domains, Behavioral Zones of Driving, Two Stages of a Driving Personality Makeover Plan, and The AWM Approach in Driver Self-Modification. Jordyn then described what the 3 domains of driver behavior were to him using his own examples to refill those in the original table. He then made a driving personality makeover for him to battle time pressure, hunger, fatigue and judgments about other drivers behaviors while in the car.

The second question that Jordyn answered was to compare and discuss the two websites, drivers.com and drdriving.org. He used a very easy to read and follow comparison chart to give an overall review on the two websites.

For the third question he summarized six reports from generation 20 (G20), 2 from the first report (Shari Arakawa-Longboy, Jeremy Kubo), 2 from the second (Ikue Fukushima, Jenny Arakaki), and 2 from the third (Jessi Chang, Sayo Yoshino). G20 Report 1 was on “Driving Psychology:  Theory and Application”, Report 2 was “My Driving Personality Makeover Project”, and report 3 was “My Proposal for Lifelong Driver Education”. After the summary he added some of his conclusions and commented on how their reports helped him as well as what they gained by doing the reports.

His fourth question was to create his own version of table 5 and then he discussed reasons why driving is such a big problem in all societies and some of Dr. Leon Jamessuggestions on how to combat these problems.

For his final question he completed 4 of the exercises in the textbook, Road Rage and Aggressive Driving by Dr. Leon James and Dr. Diane Nahl. (i) Exercise on scenario analysis on p. 129; (ii) Exercise on self-assessment on p.134; (iii) Exercise on identifying assumptions on p. 131; and (iv) Exercise on negative vs. positive driving on p. 122. He then discussed his reactions to the exercises and how they helped him with his driving. Finally his report concluded with some reviews of his classmate’s presentations, and with some not so useful advice to future generations.

Summary of report 2, Brandi McWade, G24: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005/mcwade/409a-g22-report2.htm

For her first question she had to do the same as Jordyn, above, did in his first question. She looked at the charts 1-4 and used the information in them to describe the three behavioral domains and levels of a driver, also using her own skills and errors as examples. She then used a chart to help her show a driving personality makeover plan to help her with accepting criticism about her driving errors, and get rid of her negative thoughts of other drivers and pedestrians. 

The second question she answered was to compare and contrast on the two websites related to driving psychology, drivers.com and drdriving.org. She mentioned that she liked drdriving.org more than the other one because it had useful information.

For Brandi’s third question she did the same question as Jordyn’s third question and summarized 6 reports from G20 (Shari Arakawa-Longboy, Jenny Arakaki, Ikue Fukushima, Chris Concepcion, Jesse Chang, Jeremy Kubo). In her general conclusion section she mentioned how she mostly agreed on what the students from G20 said in their reports. She also thinks that the six students learned necessary skills to help their driving by taking this course.

In her fourth question she created her own version of table 5 and talked about how driving is a problem across all societies and some ways that these problems can be fixed according to Dr. Leon James. For her reasons for the universal problem she mentions things like modeling negative behaviors, media influence, and social norms. She believes that Dr. Leon James’ idea of life long driver learning programs could help solve the problem but is not likely to gain public support.

Her final question was to complete the following exercise, (i) Exercise on scenario analysis on p. 129; (ii) Exercise on self-assessment on p.134; (iii) Exercise on identifying assumptions on p. 131; and (iv) Exercise on negative vs. positive driving on p. 122, from our text book Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. She commented that using these exercises helped her think about her driving behaviors and become more aware of her errors, and by going over the exercises with another driver helped her further understand the principles in driving psychology.

Other G22 reports can be found at: www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2005/ 

Advice to Future Generations

Do not leave your work until the last minute and make sure to read through the instructions carefully and follow all of them. Make sure you practice your oral presentation and be ready for questions that could be asked. If you have any trouble with your website or the uploading get help right away. Reading all of the assigned readings makes it easier to do the reports and outlines. By taking this course you can expect to gain excellent advice on driving psychology and how to apply it to your everyday life in your vehicle. With the knowledge you gain from this course you will be able to answer many of the questions you may have had about why people do certain things while they drive, is what you do normal?, how to react to certain situations, and any other questions that might arise in your future as a driver.

My Home Page: http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leon/409as2006/whyte/home.htm

G24 Class Home Page:  www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy24/classhome-g24.htm