Car accidents have long been linked to risky behavior; however, most studies have not included analyzing the connection between thoughts, behavior, and accidents. A recent study examined whether a driver’s thoughts may impact aggressive behavior, which can lead to risky driving associated with accidents.
Aggressive Thoughts Increase Accidents
The study measured three variables consisting of aggressive thoughts, risky behavior, and aggressive behavior. Researchers analyzed the driving habits of 414 people who drive at least once a week. They were interviewed with two questionnaires. The first questionnaire was titled “Driver’s Angry Thoughts Questionnaire.” It sought to measure aggressive thoughts. The second was titled “Driving Survey.” It measured risky behavior, including the individual’s accident proneness.
The study revealed that aggressive thoughts lead to aggressive behavior, which then triggered a lot of the risky behavior that is often associated with accident-related events. The study also found that younger drivers were most likely to experience anger and express themselves through aggressive behavior while driving.
The Relationship Between Thoughts, Behavior, and Accidents
Studies have found that dangerous drivers share three driving behavior characteristics: physical or psychological aggression, risk taking, and negative emotions. These behaviors are correlated with involvement in wrecks.
Thoughts and behavior characteristics of dangerous drivers have been found to differ from those of safe drivers. Drivers with higher anger trait scores are more likely to be involved in crashes and exhibit stronger negativity biases when processing emotions. Significant differences between dangerous drivers and safe drivers were found in their personalities and traits, cognitive abilities, and information processing. The relationship between negative emotions and dangerous driving behaviors indicate stronger negativity biases in dangerous drivers than in safe drivers. Negativity bias occurs when negative events demand more attention than neutral or positive events. Individuals with a strong negativity bias respond more intensely to negative input than other individuals. This suggests a decreased ability to inhibit control of emotional information, impacting dangerous driving, and an increase in accidents.
Decreasing Collisions by Spotting Risky Behavior
Clinical psychology may be helpful in dealing with risky and aggressive behavior in a person’s driving habits. It is important to understand the cognitive, emotional, and other mechanisms underlying aggressive and risky behavior. This will help avoid and eliminate aggressive driving behavior and car accidents.
If a person behaves aggressively in a specific way in other aspects of their life, that may carry over into their driving habits. However, if the person who is prone to aggressive risky behavior can be taught to identify that behavior, there is a possibility they can assess the situation. Addressing the risky, aggressive behavior and the thoughts that lead to it may help decrease car accidents that result from risky driving.
York County Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Affected by Risky Drivers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers are prepared to help you. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our attorneys will fight for you to obtain all entitled compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina and we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.