Vir­tual road all the rage

An on­line study will re­veal what makes us an­gry, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

TAIL­GAT­ING, rude ges­tures and blow­ing the horn are among the top ag­gres­sive driver be­hav­iours that in­crease risks on our roads, ac­cord­ing to a road safety ex­pert.

Queens­land Uni­ver­sity of Technology re­searcher Dr Alexia Len­non says this sort of be­hav­iour may not lead to road rage, but can s0till cause driv­ers to be­come ag­gres­sive and ‘‘risky’’, lead­ing to more crashes.

Len­non and a QUT team of re­searchers will study the trig­gers that make driv­ers ag­gres­sive in a $ 285,000 three-year on­line study funded by the Aus­tralian Re­search Coun­cil Dis­cov­ery.

‘‘The thing that dis­tin­guishes this study is that we will stream on­line footage of sim­u­lated road sce­nar­ios and see how driv­ers re­spond,’’ she says. ‘‘We will place par­tic­i­pants in the driver’s seat and they will ex­pe­ri­ence frus­trat­ing and ir­ri­tat­ing road events they might ex­pect to en­counter in daily driv­ing.

‘‘We don’t re­gard the study as look­ing at road rage, which is very rare, but driver ag­gres­sion, which is much more com­mon.’’

She says ini­tial re­search has shown ag­gres­sion can be caused by ‘‘some­thing or­di­nary that ev­ery­day driv­ers do’’ such as cut­ting other driv­ers off, mak­ing rude ges­tures, tail­gat­ing or blow­ing the horn.

Len­non hopes the study will lead to new ways to im­prove safety.

‘‘These could in­clude a mass ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign, chang­ing the learner-driver pro­ce­dure, new leg­is­la­tion or chang­ing the way roads are de­signed,’’ she says, adding that road de­sign that re­duces merg­ing and lanechang­ing can lessen frus­tra­tion.

Get­ting agro: driver ag­gres­sion is very com­mon, says a uni­ver­sity re­searcher.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.