The frequency and nature of aggressive acts on Australian roads
ACRS, DOI:10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00293, https://doi.org/10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00293
Submission Date: August 1, 2019 Journal
Suggested Citation: Stephens, A. and Fitzharris, M. (2019). The frequency and nature of aggressive acts on Australian roads. Journal of the Australasian College of Road Safety, 30(3), 27-36. DOI:10.33492/JACRS-D-18-00293
To understand the current prevalence of aggressive acts on Australian roads, a large cross-sectional survey was conducted inviting drivers from all Australian jurisdictions to participate. A stratified sampling procedure was undertaken to ensure the age and gender distributions were representative of each jurisdiction. Participants were asked to report the frequency of aggressive driving behaviours as well as speeding, drink-driving and mobile phone usage while driving. Recent crash history was also obtained. The sample consisted of 2,916 drivers (males = 45%) with an average age of 42 (±16) years. Minor aggressive behaviours such as expressing annoyance to other drivers and sounding the horn in anger were reported by the majority of the sample (60% and 70% respectively). More extreme behaviour such as chasing another driver when angry was less common, however still reported by 18% of the overall sample. Aggressive driving behaviours were more common in younger, male drivers with 36% of drivers aged 22 to 39 reporting extreme aggression. Associations were found between aggressive driving with crash involvement and other forms of risky driving behaviour. The results show that aggressive driving is a problem on Australian roads. Further research is warranted to explore where aggressive driving fits within an overall risky driving pattern of behaviour, what attitudes drivers hold toward aggressive driving, and how to target the reduction of these behaviours.