My Report Two On:
How Drivers Communicate
From Honking to Swearing
By: Dustin Telles
Table of Contents
Instruction to this Report 
A Summary to Kristin Subia‚s Report 
A Summary to Andrew Shapiro‚s Report 
A Summary to Kristin Evert‚s Report 
A Summary to Mary Elizabeth Pacheco‚s Report 
My Observation 
 My Finds Through Usenet and the Web
 My Finds through Previous Generations
 My Eric and Uncover Search
 The Rothe Book
How I Compare with Other Reports in G9
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To My Navigation Table

    Communication is an important factor in our lives.  It is not only a way to find out the latest gossip or what the exam is going to be on.  Communication is essential for human survival.  Sure there are many different ways that we can communicate, from a gesture to a word to even a simple whistle.  No matter how you see these things, there are all a form of communication.  Communication applies to a lot of different areas in life but one that I will be looking at today is how drivers communicate with each other.  The way that I will do this is that I will look at four previous peoples report and summarize what they had to say, I will also give my thoughts on their summaries.  I will also give you my own observations on the topic, not to mention a few newsgroups excerpts that I got from someone's report that I will give my thoughts on.  I will also comment on previous generations, Eric, and the Rothe book.  Here we go.
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A Summary to Kristin Subia‚s Report
    Kristin Subia talks about a lot of things in her report.  She discusses the steps involved in turning, changing lanes, yielding and even how to get the attention of the other driver if you want to race.  She says that when people change lanes that there are certain steps that need to be followed in order for there to not have a confrontation.  Here report deals with specific situations.
    In her report she also describes different ways of communicating with the other drivers.  These ways included vehicular communication, verbal communication, and gestural communication.  She then goes on to say that a lot of the forms that she witnessed people use are rude and inconsiderate.  She says that a lot of times these signals are misread and therefor could possibly lead to an unwanted confrontation.  She also discusses the idea of a flip card to communicate with other drivers.
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A Summary to Andrew Shapiro‚s Report
    Andrew Shapiro did a mini observational study about the right way at four way stops.  For this study he observed a busy four way stop for two days at three hour a piece between 3 and 6 pm.  His samples only consisted of instances when there were two or more cars.  He then noted the type of communication that was used by these drivers.  He said that he seen a variety of gestures which included the wave, the finger wave, horn honking, and of course bird flipping.  He also noticed that there were times of total indifference between the four different drivers as to who had the right of way.  He concluded his report by saying that each gesture implied a different message but were almost always understood.  He also linked his report to different statistics that supported his research which included AAA and the California Driving Handbook.
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A Summary to Kristin Evert‚s Report
    Kristin Evert‚s report is basically the same report as this one.  the reason that this is so is because we have the same reports as references to summarize.  However, the reason that I chose her report is because she includes her own observational study.  In her study she states her predictions, observations and conclusions on communication forms that she has seen and used.  She does say that because of her lack of data it would not be right for her to confirm any theories at this time.  She does say however that from the observations she has made that they were very explicit forms of expression being used.
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A Summary to Mary Elizabeth Pacheco‚s Report
    Mary Elizabeth Pacheco simply said that actions speak louder than words.  She gives a lot of data that she observed while driving and lists the form of communications used.  Such observations included overtaking, cutting off and changing lanes.  A lot of her report dealt with aggressive acts while driving which is why I think she says actions speak louder than words.  She concludes her report by saying that we need coherent driving communication and that ideas like flip cards and mobile phone suggestions will only make things worse.
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My Observations
    During my observations, I didn't conduct a formal study but I did drive around and take notes about things that happened while I was driving.  The thing that I was looking at was how drivers reacted to different situations, this included myself.  My hypothesis is that there will be a lot of negative communication.

Example 1:
When:  October 15,1998 
Where:  Lunalilo On Ramp
What:  I was driving to Pearl City one day and this happened to me.  Since I live in Makiki I get on to the H1 East by using the Lunalilo on ramp.  Well, this morning traffic was bad and everyone was in a rush.  Anyway, the line of cars to get onto the freeway was very long and I noticed that people were using the right lane to get as far up as possible to cut in at the last second to get onto the freeway.  After a while this started to bug me and I noticed that it was bothering a lot of other people too.  Then it started happening, horns honking, people swearing and bird flipping all at once.  The people doing the bird flipping were the people trying to cut in while the people already in that lane did a lot of honking and swearing.  This to me showed that there was a lot of communication going on.  There were two types, verbal and nonverbal.  I have never seen anything like it.  This goes to show you that drivers will communicate their feelings about things now matter what or where.
Communication form: . honking, swearing, and bird flipping

Example 2
When:  October 22,1998 
Where: King and University
What: I was going to school on day and was stopped at the stop light on King and University when I noticed something weird.  The people traveling on University had the right of way so that meant the pedestrians were clear to cross King street.  Then all of a sudden I hear this brakes slamming and people swearing and a horn honking.  I look over to my extreme right and noticed that a car trying to turn right onto University was yelling and honking at the pedestrians crossing King street.  To me this was weird because they have the right of way and this person was yelling at them to hurry up.  Both the driver and the pedestrians was swearing back and forth to each other.  Not to mention that the driver was also honking his horn.  This was weird because it was the first time that I have ever witnessed some driver yelling at a pedestrian crossing the street with the walk sign on.  This was terrible, it made me feel ashamed to be a driver.  But, on the other hand it was cool to see the pedestrian fight for their rights.
 Communication forms: Honking, swearing

Example 3
When:  October 30,1998
Where: UH Parking Structure
What: I was driving around the parking structure one day just for fun during work and I noticed something very weird.  There was this car with its blinker on waiting for a car to pull out so that they can park in that stall.  Because i was behind the car waiting I saw everything.  When the car reversed out of the stall it reversed in a way that the car waiting couldn't yet get to the stall.  Then, all of a sudden here comes this car and cuts in front of the reversing car and parks in the stall that the car in front of me was waiting for.  All of a sudden the car in front of me starts honking its horn and swearing at the car that took its stall.  Then the person driving the car that stole the car gets out of his car and tell the person in front of me to F#$% off and tells them if they don't shut up that something will happen.  The person in front of me starts to yell again and this time drives away.  This wasn't the end though.  Later on that day while making my rounds at work again I noticed the car that was involved in the altercation earlier and this time there was toilet paper all over it.  This was very funny to me and of course i didn't report anything because I felt that that car got what it deserved.
Communication Forms:  swearing, honking, yelling, threats, toilet papering

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My Finds Through Usenet and the Web
    Through the web I found mostly newsgroups articles regarding my various searches.  I used a variety of search engines.  I tried a variety of words and word combinations that include driving, driving and communication, driving and signals, etc.  All finds regarding signals were in relation to stocks and other irrelevant topics.  Many times I got Dr. James and previous generational reports.
    These newsgroups articles were insightful, even though it wasn't what I was looking for.  A common thread throughout were the importance of signaling your intentions early and effectively.  Miscommunication or lack of seemed to cause most negative feelings on the road.

Subject:      Re: DSP runs drivers license racket
Date:         1998/08/04
Message-ID:   <6q5upl$mhb$>
Newsgroups:   atl.general
Organization: CRL Dialup Internet Access (415) 705-6060  [Login: guest]
References:   <> <> <6q5h8f$pgq$> <>
[Subscribe to atl.general]

Mulder <> wrote:

> And to stay on the soapbox:  To you new Expedition drivers...Ford went
> to great pains to install turn signals in your vehicle (even a quite
> attractive side marker unit in the mirrors).  Please use them.

The intelligence of the driver is inversely proportional to the cost of
the car.  And it's hard to use turn signals as you read "Driving for
Dummies" while tooling down 285.
What I see this person doing is venting out their frustrations to a certain vehicle driving people.  Maybe it is because he owns this type of vehicle and is upset that people are giving it a bad rep or maybe he is just picking on one type of car.  Either way he is trying to get the point across to people to use their turn signals because that is what they are there for.

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Subject:      Re: Turn signals..HUH ? ? ? ?
From:         "Jim Springer" <>
Date:         1998/07/22
Message-ID:   <6p5e7n$>
Newsgroups:   rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Organization: AT&T WorldNet Services
References:   <6p0p44$> <> <Bz6t1.49$> <>
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In south Florida if you use a turn signal the person in the lane next to
you will speed up to keep you from changing lanes.  They tend to be VERY
aggressive drivers.

> >I am glad to hear that some people still use the turn signals.  Here in
> >Florida I think the driving instructors teach the students that the turn
> >signal lever is to dry your bathing suit on.
> When visiting Florida recently, I was shocked to find that the use of
> turn signals was worse than the LA area.  I asked one of my Florida
> friends about is and he said that turn signals are optional on new
> cars in Florida.  )
I am not sure if this is helping the problem or hurting it.  For one thing he says that people should use their turn signals because that is what they are taught to do and that is the right thing to do.  But on the other hand he goes and says that if you do use signals there is a greater chance that you won't be let into the lane.  I do like the little joke at the end that says cars are being sold with turn signals as an option.

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Subject:      Signals to driver
From:         "Diane Epps" <>
Date:         1998/07/15
Message-ID:   <6ohgou$t4o$>
Newsgroups:   uk.rec.caravanning
X-MimeOLE:    Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.71.1712.3
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When attaching the unit to the car the job of giving signals to the driver
falls to me.  I am an expert at giving the wrong signals to my husband who
is driving the car.  Does anyone have any advise on how I can get this
right?  Or should I just accept that he has problems so it must be my fault!

I do not feel that she should blame herself afteall she is not the one attaching the unit.  However if you are the passenger and you tell the driver that it is clear when it actually isn't then I can honestly say that it is your fault.  However, you can look at it in this way, the driver is the driver and by asking you for assistance he is giving you the authority which to me still leaves him at fault because he asked for help.

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My Finds Through the Previous Generations
    Browsing though the different generations, I found three interesting reports about driving communication.
    The first report was by Ms. Barrineau entitled "Report on How Drivers Communicate
Getting the Signals Right" In this report she gave arguments of the effectiveness of seven universal signs to solve the problem of miscommunication on the road.  She logically explains how even those signs can be misinterpreted and the problem of teaching them to all drivers.
    The second was Mr. Nakagawa‚s report entitled, „How Driver's Communicate: Don't you understand What I Mean?,š which contains brief analyses of different newsgroups articles.
    The third report by Ms. Ishikawa entitled „Report on How Driver's Communicate: The Importance of Communication on the Road,š is also interesting  because she shares her comments on newsgroups articles as well as a site by Cornhill Insurance which presents a KEEP CALM acronym to aid in stressful driving situations.
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My Eric and Uncover Search
    I didn't get any info using these searches because I don't really know hoe to use them and I was getting very frustrated.  However, while browsing through the previous generations these articles caught my eye:

Basch, Charles E. Perception, attitudes, motivations, and behaviors of drivers 18 to 22  years old.  New York: Clearing House, 1987.

Hargett, James. (1989). Riding Technique: Keeping drivers friendly: Eight Common Sense   Tips for Sharing the Road, v30 n7, 58.

Lowenstein, L.F. Research into Causes and Manifestations of Aggression in Car Driving,  Police Journal, July 97, 70, 263.

Malfetti, James L. Young driver attitude scale: The development and field-testing of an  instrument to measure young driver risk taking attitudes.  New York: Columbia  University, 1989.

Schulz, Wolgang.  Traffic Management Improvement by Integrating Modern  Communication Systems.  Ieee Communications Magazine.  Oct. 1, 1996, v34, n10  p56.

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Beyond Traffic Safety by Dr. J. Peter Rothe
    While reading the Rothe book I noticed that there wasn't much said about how drivers communicate  Maybe because it is different all over and it would take a book of itself just to cover the topic with the integrity that it deserves.  That is why I feel that people should do this report.
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How I Compare with Other Reports in G10
    I think that my report is as well done when compared to my fellow G10 students reports.  However, I must admit that their reports are nicer and have images.  Because of this I say that in content my report is as well done as my class mates but in appearance mines falls slightly behind.
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    In conclusion I would have to say that I found this report to be fun and very informative.  I learned a lot through my observations as well as from those people in the generations prior to me.  I learned that there are many different ways to communicate with each other and that they are sometimes misinterpreted.  However, I do feel that if future generations do this report that they should really go out and observe because that is the best way the learn about this topic.
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