Shouting and Cursing while Driving: Frequency, Reasons, Perceived Risk and Punishment
Traffic accidents are a major cause of death and injury in the world. Generally speaking about aggression, evidence has shown that drivers who usually express aggressive behaviors more frequently tend, at the same time, to have higher rates of road crashes or traffic incidents. Furthermore, in most cases, the situations in which aggressive behaviors appear are typical of normal current traffic conditions, turning this behavior into something very common, and into a very serious road safety issue. This has also been related with the clear lack of Road Safety Education that is evident in most of the countries. The aim of this study was to describe the factors and perceptions related to the aggressive behavior of verbally insulting and shouting while driving. In this study, an extensive list of behaviors, that experts more or less unanimously consider as aggressive driving, was described; one of them was labeled shouting and insulting. The sample was obtained from a random sampling proportional to and representative of the segments of the population by age, sex, region and size of the municipality. The survey was aimed at Spanish drivers over 14 years. The starting sample size was 1,100 surveys. As a result, shouting and insulting is not considered such a dangerous offense as it is driving under the influence of alcohol, but we cannot deny that there are many types of bad or risky maneuvers that could be banned from a legal point of view. The degree of social tolerance towards such behavior is variable. Some individuals merely ignore them, accepting them as something inevitable. Multiple types of risky maneuvers and deliberated misbehaviors, which are (formally and informally) already forbidden from a legal point of view, make other drivers and pedestrians uncomfortable and restrict their movements, creating violent, stressful and risky situations, and they are still performed by drivers. In short, aggression in driving is one of them. As a conclusion, there is a high prevalence of this phenomenon among Spanish drivers. Furthermore, most of the aggressive expressions related to shouting and cursing on the road are preceded by subjective factors such as stress, fatigue and personality traits, which may be intervened through the strengthening of road safety education and road safety campaigns.