Washington, Jan 11: Cutting in and weaving, speeding, and hostile displays are among the top online complaints posted by drivers, according to a new study.
Driver aggression is a major safety concern and researchers estimate this behaviour is a factor in nearly half of all motor vehicle collisions.
Identifying the underlying causes and strategies for preventing driver aggression continues to be a priority.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) researcher Dr. Christine Wickens reviewed thousands of entries posted on RoadRagers.com, a website that invites drivers to submit complaints about unsafe and improper driving.
Following a previous study evaluating complaints submitted to the Ontario Provincial Police, Dr. Wickens turned her attention towards the crop of new websites that ask drivers to describe the unsafe driving practices they've observed.
"These websites can tell us more about what people are doing out there in the real world," she said.
Dr. Wickens, a post-doctoral fellow with CAMH's Social and Epidemiological Research Department, and her colleagues evaluated more than 5,000 entries posted on RoadRagers.com between 1999 and 2007.
The team sorted the complaints - which consisted mostly of reports on driving in Canada and the U.S. - into various categories, including: speeding/racing, erratic/improper braking and blocking.
The most common complaints involved cutting in and weaving (54 percent of all complaints), speeding (29 percent) and hostile displays (25 percent).
The research team also discussed how slighted drivers might feel compelled to retaliate or "teach other drivers a lesson."
In some extreme cases, one reckless action can escalate into a hostile situation between multiple drivers.
The study is published in an online issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention. (ANI)