Report 2

My Driving Personality Makeover Project
by Jenny Arakaki

Instructions for Report 2

 

1. Preface

 

In report 1, we just touch on what driving psychology is and how we can improve ourselves as individual drivers, passengers or even as a stander by.Overall driving psychology is a course on how to manage your thoughts and emotions while driving on the road. This process is lifelong and needs to be taught to every individual, young or old, whether they drive or donĎt drive. Driving psychology can also make the individual more aware of their habits or tendencies while driving on the road and help to improve and eliminate the habits that may lead to aggressive behaviors. Driving psychology also allows you to think of your actions and try to exhibit proper behavior when dealing with the various situations.

 

We also establish the definition of road rage and how it affects millions of people in our nation due to traffic accidents or that we all are drivers or passengers in some type of transportation vehicle.

 

Report 1 also deals with becoming a better driver.It is trying to change our personality or thoughts and styles of driving and help us make better decisions or judgments in each scenario we encounter.Students in this course are learning the basics of driving within your mind.We need to understand the psychological mechanics of driving and apply it not only to our driving skills but to our everyday lives.Overall, driving psychology has made me more aware of the consequences of aggressive driving behavior.We were able to construct an autobiography on our driving techniques and see what types of influences are around us that may help to explain why we drive the way we do.We are more susceptible to understand the way we drive if we try to follow the ideas given in the book.We all need to improve ourselves one way or another, especially in our driving behaviors.

 

The three basic aspects of our personality that we first learn is cognitive, affective or sensorimotor self, also known as the threefold self.My affective self helps us to realize errors we are doing.It is our feelings, emotions and attitudes.Our Cognitive self helps us to deduce information objectively rather than subjectively by our thoughts, judgement and knowledge.The sensorimotor self helps us to rationalize our thinking and change our attitudes rather than being aggressive on the road.Itís more of the driverís vision, motor reactions and stress.(p.196, Dr. James & Dr. Nahl, Road Rage and Aggressive Driving)

For more on Report 1, click here.

 

My objective in Report 2 is to create a model or experiment to get rid of the bad habits I present while driving on the road by creating a driver personality makeover.I will take various measurements of the aggressive driving signs I show and record the data and put it in a table.This way, I can see my faults and try to modify those particular habits.After about a weekís worth of data and recording my activity, I will use the checklists from our textbook and try to modify my specific aggressive driving behaviors.I will then again take another measurement of all the different aggressive behavior I show and record it in another table.I will break the experiment down into two parts.One for my morning drive and one for my afternoon drive.I feel that they are different and should kept separate when writing down my data.Overall this report will help to improve myself as a driver and a passenger.It will also help me reduce my aggressive actions and try to make me a supportive driver with emotional intelligence.†††

 

A supportive driver is someone who accommodates their style of driving adjusting their thinking on the roads.They steer clear of the emotional entrapments of the road rage mentality.A supportive driver recognizes and accepts a wide array of drivers and is adaptive to their needs and level of driving skills.

 

2. Introduction: Objective Self-assessment

 

Checklist: Aggressive Thoughts and Feelings (p.65, text)

This checklist helps to identify aggressive feelings and thoughts that are part of a road rage habit.The items are based on self-witnessing tapes of drivers in traffic and cover three common areas: fantasies of retaliation and revenge, high-pressure driving and competition, impulsiveness and reckless driving.

 

Driving area 1: Fantasies of Retaliation and Revenge

  1. When others cut in front of me so that I have to brake, 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. When drivers become aggressive by tailgating me, I enjoy slowing down to pay them back.
  4. When Iím under stress due to work, I get very edgy and take it out on other drivers.
  5. I donít think passengers should tell me how to drive and I let them know if they try.
  6. When a driver cuts me off and then slows down, I feel like ramming that car.
  7. I get nasty thoughts about drivers who force their way into my lane, especially without signaling.

 

This section of the checklist consisted of twelve questions, I checked yes to seven of them.That is over fifty percent I said yes to the statements.Those statements identify me as having aggressive feelings even though they may be in fantasy.I would never commit any of these crimes in reality.It still represents that I have road rage in me.A solution to this problem might be to think that I have to share the road with everyone.I cannot think that I am the only one going to my destination. Everyone has the same right and needs to get where they are going.I also need to realize that maybe I might get carried away and my fantasy thoughts may become a reality and I definitely donít want that to happen.

 

Driving area 2: High-pressure Driving and Competition

1.      When a car gets in my way I donít like it and I try to get around it even if it means taking some risks.

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

3.      Iím a ďgap closerĒ and I make sure no one enters my lane in front of me.

4.      I donít have respect for drivers who forget to turn their blinkers on or off.

 

This section consisted of seven questions and I answered yes to four of them.That is also more than fifty percent which tells me that I feel that driving is a competition and am willing to put other people and myself at risk.I exhibit road rage and aggressive behavior while driving.I hardly let anyone in the lane because they are wrong.When I am waiting in the right lane to get to an on-ramp and I see someone cut me off in front because they left a gap, I get angry, thinking I could that many cars ahead.I always feel that I have to close the gap since the other driver is wrong.I know that mentality will get me into trouble since I showing aggressive behavior.A solution to this problem could be to think that we all have to share the roads with one another and show some aloha spirit when another car wants to come into my lane.I shouldnít automatically assume that they are trying to get ahead of the people waiting, they might have not know which exit to take.

 

Driving area 3: Impulsive and Reckless Driving

1.      When Iím tired I become less alert, but I still need to drive.I have no choice.

 

This section shows that I may talk or seem aggressive but I do not act on my impulses.I donít enjoy causing reckless driving to myself or others.

 

Out of all twenty-seven questions, I answered yes to twelve.I think if you answered at least one, it shows that you may have some aggressive tendencies and if you donít try and improve yourself right away, it might be hard to stop yourself from becoming more of an aggressive driver.

 

Checklist: Are you a scofflaw? (p.106, text)

Check each statement that you agree with.††

1. There are too many traffic light and stop signs.

2. I feel that a yield sign is an iffy thing.

3.I think all highways and streets would be safer without speed limits of any kind.

4.Itís always safer to drive over the speed limit than under, because if you drive under the speed limit, other

drivers get annoyed at you and they start creating hazardous conditions as they try to pass you.

5.Ideally I donít want to break the speed limit or switch lanes without signaling, but I feel forced to go the same

speed as everyone else. What else can I do?

6.Often itís too much trouble to signal a lane change.

 

In this checklist, there were a total of ten statements.I checked six out of the ten that I agreed with and I think that proves that I am a scofflaw.I think if you check off just two, you are scofflaw.It shows that I tend to break rules made by the state and donít agree with them.I often find myself questioning the police authority since I often find them breaking the rules also.I know to handle that type of thinking is to say that the police disobey the rules because they have an emergency to tend to but they donít feel itís necessary to put their lights or sirens on.Overall, since I checked off sixty percent of the questions, I feel that is just cause to tell me that I need to start my self-modification program as soon as possible to get rid of my bad habits.

 

Checklist: Identifying your irrational driving rules. (p.150, text)

 

1.      I must make all the lights.

2.      I mustnít brake unless absolutely necessary.

3.      I must strive to get ahead of everyone.

4.      If someone passes me, Iím probably going too slow.

5.      If I donít see any other cars around, I donít have to signal.

6.      Itís always better to make a light than to stop.

 

In this checklist, I answered yes to six of the ten statements, which is sixty percent.I can conclude that I have irrational driving rules on the road which is not logical.We are all vulnerable to the unexamined rules in our heads.These irrational rules add to our stress which can show that we are unaware of these assumptions affecting our thoughts, feelings and actions.These statements show that when it comes to driving we make unnecessary rules that could injure ourselves or other people on the road. This mentality, if you really think about it is silly, though many of us think this way anyway.We need to devise solutions to teach ourselves that this is irrational thinking and only helps to justify when we make a mistake on the road.But what we donít realize is that all these statements constitute aggressive driving behavior.


3. My Driver Self-modification Attempt

 

(a) Design of my experiment

 

The scenario: I decided to record my data on the weekdays since that is when I drive the most.Plus I have noticed that much of my aggressive thoughts and behaviors are expressed during traffic hour.That is pretty much the only time I am driving, is through peak hours.To get a better idea of me and what I drive, Iíll give you some specifics.I drive a 1999 Nissan Sentra, which is known to be more of a family car and not a racing car.The route I drive is Monday through Fridayís Kailua to University of Hawaii.I use the Pali Highway everyday and leave my house between 6:50 to 7:00 am to get to school by 8:00 am.It usually takes me forty-five minutes to an hour to get to school.Coming home, I leave around 4:00 pm from UH and donít get home until 4:45 to 5:00 pm.So basically both ways, take me around forty-five minutes to an hour, depending on traffic, what day it is and the weather.

 

My experiment: I tape recorded myself while driving in the car to get the most accurate results.The tape recorder was a good method to use because I could play back my thoughts and emotions as many times as possible to get a complete analysis of my behavior.I also had passengers in the car when I drove, my brother and his friend.My brother usually slept in the car and his friend didnít have a license to drive, so I always was the driver.Since I had passengers in the car, I also had them take notes on my behavior while driving.This way I had more data to include in my report and some observations from the passengers, a tape recorder wouldnít be to record.Plus, it also provided hard evidence of my behavior so I can hear first hand what I am saying and try to understand why I acted the way I did.

 

My solution to my many problems was to invent explanations or reasons why the person was speeding past me or lane hopping or frustrating me.Calm yourself and try to exhibit non-aggressive thoughts and reactions.I tried to think of various reasons the other driver was demonstrating aggressive behavior.I said they might have had an emergency and needed to get to their destination as fast as possible, not realizing they were causing havoc on other drivers.I tried to think that these drivers didnít understand the meaning of Ďalohaí or courtesy to others and they will learn one day, but not today.I made up various excuses and it not only relieved some anger but it also distracted me from getting angry.I actually paid more attention to devising reasons behind their bad driving and I didnít have time to react aggressive or swear at them.This solution was tried by Michelle Alonzo in a previous generation and I thought it was a good start to change my behavior.

 

Also another solution I was going to try was the method used by a student in a previous generation.His name was Abe Cabuag.His modification program included rewarding his passenger with money every time he failed to display proper behavior on the road.†† This way it was a punishment that he would understand not to show aggressive behavior.I used his experiment and did the same with my passengers.It was an exchange for them helping me and that way they could get something out of it rather than it only being for me.I paid them ten cents total for each aggressive act but not twenty-five cents, since it seemed a lot.Plus, I wasnít sure on how much aggressive actions I would display, therefore it could be very costly to me.

 

First of all, the definitions of terms used in my experiment.

 

Hopping is lane hopping and is defined when the driver is constantly weaving in and out of lanes to avoid getting stuck in traffic.The driver keeps putting other drivers and him or herself in danger.Lane hopping can also include not putting on your signals when switching lanes.

 

Tailgating in my case is not me staying close to the driver in front of me but someone staying close behind me.In that aspect, people who tailgate me, I end up slowing down, purposely,to remind them they are too close to my car.

 

Swearing is self-explanatory, but it could also mean uttering words or phrase that may not include cuss words, mainly to vent my anger.

 

Wishing is my term used to describe when I have evil thoughts in my mind of things I would want to do to another driver that isnít followed through with.These thoughts come into my mind when another driver angers me.I forced myself to think those thoughts out loud so that it would be recorded and I could see how many bad thoughts I encountered.I did not actually do any of these actions but the ideas were there and therefore exhibited aggressive behavior.Some examples would include: running over another car with my car or banging my car into another person.

 

Yielding is when I fail to yield at yield signs and fail to come to complete stops at the stop signs or red lights.Also, it can include running the yellow lights at an intersection.

 

Counting is when I count the cars that pass me when I am in traffic.I count every car to keep track if I am beating the traffic or if the other cars are beating me.It can also include me keeping track of the car I was behind of and cutting into another lane and seeing if that car catches up to me, reassuring me that Iím still going faster.

 

Speeding is when I exceed the speed limit over 5 mph or more.For example if the speed limit is 45 mph and I am going 50 mph, that would be considered speeding.If that were the real case, I probably wouldíve been going 55 mph or more.

 

(b) Data Tables

 

Data table 1 and Graph 1 was establishing my baseline or average of aggressive acts I displayed while driving in the mornings to school.

 

Data 1

Hopping

Tailgating

Swearing

Wishing

Yielding

Counting

Speeding

Day 1 (am)

3

1

6

0

4

2

3

Day 2 (am)

4

0

7

1

2

2

2

Day 3 (am)

3

0

5

0

2

2

3

Day 4 (am)

4

2

8

0

1

1

4

Day 5 (am)

4

1

9

1

5

3

5

 

 

Number of Times

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 1

 

I had to pay a total of ten dollars to my brother and his friend for the week.If you add up all the violations I demonstrated, it came out to one-hundred.If you multiply that number by ten cents each, you get ten dollars.That is a lot of aggressive behavior.I do not want to pay that much anymore.

 

Data table 2 and graph 2 showed me establishing a baseline for the afternoon on my way home from school.

 

Data 2

Hopping

Tailgating

Swearing

Wishing

Yielding

Counting

Speeding

Day 1 (pm)

4

2

5

0

3

2

4

Day 2 (pm)

4

1

8

0

4

1

3

Day 3 (pm)

5

2

6

2

1

2

3

Day 4 (pm)

4

0

9

1

3

1

4

Day 5 (pm)

6

3

11

4

6

1

6

 

 

Number of times

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 2

 

In the afternoon, I had more aggressive acts, which cost me a lot more money.I seem to be very easily agitated when the afternoon comes around since the number of Ďviolationsí totaled one-hundred twenty-two.That comes out to twelve dollars and twenty cents.Boy was my brother and his friend happy.Total I had to really pay for my bad habits and aggressive driving techniques.

 

Data table 3 and graph 3 was my intervention statistics for the morning drive to school.I tried to reduce the number of times I showed any of these aggressive acts by paying my passengers and thinking of various explanations for those drivers who usually upset me.

 

Data 3

Hopping

Tailgating

Swearing

Wishing

Yielding

Counting

Speeding

Day 6 (am)

2

0

4

0

2

1

2

Day 7 (am)

2

1

6

0

2

2

0

Day 8 (am)

1

0

4

0

1

0

3

Day 9 (am)

2

0

6

1

2

2

3

Day 10 (am)

3

1

8

1

4

2

4

 

 

Number of times

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 3

 

I still paid my debt since that was the agreement we had among each other.This time the count is still high, but I at least improved by reducing the number of aggressive acts for the week.It totaled to seventy-two times which equals seven dollars and twenty cents.I was happy that my total number of actions went down.It didnít only reduce as a whole weeks worth of data but individually also.Each act went down in total which also showed some improvement for my morning routine.

 

Data table 4 and graph 4 was also an intervention statistic for my afternoon drive home.

 

Data 4

Hopping

Tailgating

Swearing

Wishing

Yielding

Counting

Speeding

Day 6 (pm)

3

0

3

0

2

2

2

Day 7 (pm)

2

1

7

1

2

0

3

Day 8 (pm)

4

1

6

0

1

1

2

Day 9 (pm)

4

1

8

0

3

2

3

Day 10 (pm)

5

2

9

2

4

1

4

 

 

Number of times

 

 

 

 

 

Graph 4

 

This afternoonís data also improved compared to my baseline.I still stuck out the money aspect to teach myself a lesson.Itís better to start now and change my ways rather than waiting for something drastic to happen and make me regret for the rest of my life.This time my aggressive actions totaled ninety-one.It still was less than my baseline.It also was less than my morning baseline which to me is a good improvement. Even though ninety-one violations comes out to be nine dollars and ten cents.

 

Overall I had to learn the hard way by dishing out money for my helpers to help me and it made me realize how bad a driver I am.I need to change my aggressive actions toward positive ones and then I can become a better driver for those around me and for myself.

 

(c) Analysis and Discussion

Trends presented within the data shown would be that towards the end of the week I wanted to get home faster because it was Friday.I tended to break more rules and drive more recklessly than the beginning of the week.I committed more crimes more so because there were more cars on the road by Friday because everyone wanted to start their weekend as soon as possible.I also tended to break more rules in the afternoon than in the morning, most likely because I was tired and ready to go home to relax a little while.The tables and graphs showed the variants in the numbers.

 

The statistics showed that my program reduced some of the aggressive behaviors in days six through ten.But I donít know if it was because I didnít want to dish out anymore money to my passengers, which forced me to display better behavior.At least the main goal to reduce the actions started to work.The program still has some problems because I think I focused on too many problems and variable to start out with.It might have worked better if I had concentrated on one specific area first and tried to get rid of that problem and then work with the next problem, and then doing the same for all the other problems I tended to do.

 

I also tended to drive more recklessly in the afternoon than in the morning.I donít know if the number of drivers on the road is less in the morning than in the afternoon.It also might be due to the fact that I had a long day and have become more anxious to get home in a rush where I can relax for awhile.I also might be more irritated in the afternoon after a long day of school and work.To solve this problem, I could have my brother drive home or wait until traffic dies down and leave school later or earlier.

 

Majority of my aggressive acts would be breaking the law.This type of behavior is called scofflaw.Scofflaw is the tendency to automatically disregard certain traffic laws, regulations, and signs. It's basically law-breaking citizens in any type of environment, doing crimes in the streets or even while driving. Some drivers are compulsively rebellious, since they do not come to a complete stop at stop signs or slow down only when policemen are around. Our aggressive driving culture promotes cynicism about those who create our laws and regulations on the road. We all have a choice to act aggressively or passively when driving in our cars, people who act aggressively by disobeying laws and signs, put out for our safety are committing scofflaw.

To modify oneís driving skills, itís good to know the three driving domains to modify oneís driving.They are affective, cognitive and sensorimotor, part of the threefold self, which is mentioned in the preface of this report.The affective self deals with emotions, motives and needs.Itís what we feel, want or desire.An example of having no affective self would be what I did in my bad habits of driving was not stopping at stops signs or when a light is almost going to turn red.We are trained to stop at a red light and taught that we donít want to get into accident so we must stop.†† I didnít not listen to my affective self.The cognitive behavior is our reasoning and decision making.It allows you to choose what is right or what is wrong.In the previous scenario, I wasnít thinking that running the red was a totally wrong idea.I showed lack of cognitive behavior.Lastly, sensorimotor is when all experiences incorporate sensory input and motor output.It deals with all aspects of stopping at a red light.It requires that your eyes, arms, hands, leg and foot all work together to work the car to come to a stop at that red light.

When I modified my driving techniques, I used a process called self-witnessing.Self-witnessing is an important part of your behavior modification program.This concept helps you witness your behavior and self in all aspects of being a driver.Self-witnessing will help you become a better driver since you can use recording devices to hear what goes on in your mind and in the car, that you might not be aware of when you arrive at your destination and get out of the car.

(d) Conclusion and future plans

 

In conclusion, venting should be prevented at all costs though we are all taught to express our anger and rage and to not keep it bottled in.It makes you feel better when you let it out, but that is the wrong thinking.According to the textbook, venting can lead to overt hostility.It is felt as a rush so in a sense it will impair our judgment when we release our frustration and will hurt our health and our mind either in driving or in other situations.By encouraging society to vent our problems, we not only feel a rush but also anger-inspiring thoughts are followed which could tempt us into a dangerous situation or action.Also if there is continual venting by one person, it can have serious physical consequences by weakening our immune system and creating unneeded stress.(p.80, text)

Overall, my self-modification plan or experiment lowered the number of times I demonstrated any aggressive acts or behaviors.In some cases, it stayed the same or even went up, but those were the rare situations and it depended on the scenario of the day.Each day couldnít be exactly the same so there some variance in the data.Though, my baseline proved that I have a lot to work on and if I stay at it, I can improve.Only after one week there was significant change.I just have to keep telling myself this is better for personality and health.

 

For my future plans, I will try to continue my self help program and try to reduce as many problems I can for the rest of my life.I will keep on telling my family and friends and hope that they will take interest and read some of our reports and improve their own methods in driving and in life.If people around me were to take these improvements to heart and I see that it is working for them, I will most likely keep doing it to myself also.We all need encouragement from our family members so that we can stay focused and reduce the amount of aggressive acts on the road.I will try my best to stick with the plan, so I can become a better person.

 

4. Conclusion

 

This assignment helped me identify the faults that occurred in my driving style.I learned more about how I think and react on the road within the different situations while driving.The assignment also helped me to self witness my driving attitudes and philosophy.By starting to understand my individual thoughts on driving I was able to help myself overcome the many bad habits I show on the road and try to improve it by creating a modification plan.The questionnaires in the book also helped to serve as a start out point to see what type of aggressive behaviors I show on the road.It made me realize what a bad driver I was and I needed to learn to drive more safely to show courtesy to my fellow drivers and hopefully they will also show me the same respect I am learning to show them.††

 

At first, I knew in the back of my mind that I wasnít the best driver.But I didnít think I was as reckless or that violent on the road as I have seen in my statistics.The data I have provided has given me a wake up call, telling me I need to change and modify myself and keep up with the program.My behavior was aggressive and caused danger to all individuals around me.I have never gotten into an accident or a ticket so I have never really thought about the dangers of aggressive driving.This modification plan allowed me to see for myself and my brother and friend, the style of driving I showed on the road.

 

I am usually a quiet and timid person.I am not the type to start a confrontation, I try to avoid one it at all costs.But when I get into a car, I am a completely different person.I end up being more aggressive to the drivers who are not driving correctly in my eyes.The self-witnessing approach I experimented with helped me to see what type of driver I am and how different I react in a different situation.It wasnít right that I change my attitude and way of thinking just because I am on the road in a vehicle.I think the car makes you feel that you have more power and that was why I reacted differently on the road.It served as a shield and enhanced my feeling of power on the road, whereas in other situations, I donít feel as powerful.I am not trying to say my behavior was right, I was just merely pointing out some analysis I have come up with to explain what went on in my head.

 

So far, my views on driving have changed drastically from the beginning of the semester.From the very first day, when we learned about the amount of fatalities and accidents that occurred in one day or one year, it gave me a wake up call.From there, I have let my family and friends know and everyone has been affected by the statistics.†† Now with my driving personality makeover, I am able to improve my driving behaviors and thoughts and try to control them by limiting the number of aggressive actions I exhibit in the experiment I created.Hoping that I continue this daily routine, starting out with one problem first to work on, I can say that this class has changed my attitudes and behaviors, not only with driving but in my everyday life.I think more about what is coming out of my mouth and remember that is called road rage and overall it is bad for your health because it can cause more stress in your life.We all need less stress, so by learning from our bad habits and try to get rid of them, we can all be happier people.†††


5. Future Generations

 

I know that all of this sounds hard to accomplish in a short timeframe but it can work.We all need to improve our driving personality and reduce the road rage we exhibit on the road.We all need to be more courteous when we get into a car to drive to our destination or even in everyday life.We all resist the idea of change, but by now we all should know that changing is for the better good of everyone.In the end run if we all try to improve our Ďbadí habits and help one another out by showing them some compassion and patience on the road, we all maybe able to reduce the amount of fatalities and accidents that occur on the roads every single day of the year.We all should think of the next person and help them out by being less aggressive in all aspects of life and not only in driving.

 

I challenge every individual that reads Generation 20ís reports and take it to heart.Try the various modifications plans we have devised and use it for yourself.One program may not be right for you so try different ones or put some experiments together or add or change parts to make it fit for your individual needs.In the long run, youíll find out that youíll become a better driver and a better person.Drivers will become more safe on the road and hopefully one day, we will be able to attribute to less violence and aggression on the roads.In the end it would reduce fatalities and traffic accidents in the future.So help yourself, family members and friends and encourage them we all are responsible for what occurs in our society and community.To improve our future and ourselves, we can all do our part to start to become better drivers and better people.

 

 

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