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Does driver perception of their car as a private space...

tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,484
edited March 2010 in Commuting chat
....influence their behaviour and have implications for road safety.

I say yes.
Porgy wrote:
wheezy wrote:
What is howver a road safety issue is the widespread perception that a car is a private domain, when in reality it is a piece of heavy machinery operated at speed in a public area.
And it is a safety issue as the psychological effect of those who believe such nonsense creates the fall-out that cyclists have to put up with every day.

This article says maybe

My Google Fu isn't up to much, there may be better research pieces which I can't find.
Szlemko and his colleagues quizzed hundreds of volunteers about their cars and driving habits. Participants were asked to describe the value and condition of their cars, as well as whether they had personalized them in any way.

The researchers recorded whether people had added seat covers, bumper stickers, special paint jobs, stereos and even plastic dashboard toys. They also asked questions about how the participants responded to specific driving situations.

To keep the participants from realizing that the team was collecting information about aggressive driving, questions such as “If someone is driving slow in the fast lane, how angry does this make you?” were interspersed with decoy questions such as “What kind of music do you listen to in the car?”. Szlemko's team used a pre-existing scale called “Use of vehicle to express anger” to diagnose the presence of road rage in their participants.

People who had a larger number of personalized items on or in their car were 16% more likely to engage in road rage, the researchers report in the journal Applied Social Psychology1.

Territorial disputes
“The number of territory markers predicted road rage better than vehicle value, condition or any of the things that we normally associate with aggressive driving,” say Szlemko. What's more, only the number of bumper stickers, and not their content, predicted road rage — so "Jesus saves" may be just as worrying to fellow drivers as "Don't mess with Texas".

Szlemko admits that he is not entirely surprised by the results. “We have to remember that humans are animals too," he says. "It's unrealistic to believe that we should not be territorial.”

Precious little research has previously attempted to explore drivers' territorial feelings about their cars, says psychologist Graham Fraine at Queensland University's Transport Policy Office in Australia. “This work clearly demonstrates that people will actively defend a space or territory that they feel attached to and have personalized with markers,” Fraine says.

Szlemko suggests that this territoriality may encourage road rage because drivers are simultaneously in a private space (their car) and a public one (the road). “We think they are forgetting that the public road is not theirs, and are exhibiting territorial behaviour that normally would only be acceptable in personal space,” he says.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.ph ... -Road-Rage
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Posts

  • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    I read something a few years ago on this subject. People do things in their cars that they would never dream of doing while walking down the road - picking their nose being a prime example ! The article argued that this was because the car was seen as private space, so even though the people in question are in full public view, they feel less exposed than if they were just standing there.
    Misguided Idealist
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    This is like a DDD poll, only even more self evident. :D

    How about a "Is Ricky Martin really gay?" poll?

    Or

    "The Pope - a Catholic? y/n?"
  • deptfordmarmosetdeptfordmarmoset Posts: 3,118
    edited March 2010
    Not quite the same thing as a private space but it's related: modern cars are insulated from the road - you're in an armchair when you drive, everything is close to hand so that even indicating apparently is too much of an effort for many, engines get quieter and road noise is reduced.

    I've noticed that, after giving up a car and relying on the bike as my principal means of transport, that when having to drive someone else's car, I actually find it quite hard to tell the difference between 30 and 40mph. (My last car was an oldish diesel and just from the sound of the engine I could tell what speed I was going at.) But in a newer, smaller petrol car, without engine or road noise, protected from the wind, I sometimes find it hard to judge what speed I'm going at.

    I think that modern cars remove you from the road. The factor of separation from the road is probably a large contributor to that sensation of it being a private space.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,484
    This is like a DDD poll, only even more self evident.

    The man himself would disagree
    Porgy was reinforcing what Wheezy was saying. Both IMO are wrong. There is nothing to suggest that a motorist's perception of their vehicle, in this case private/personal property and their private domain is directly related to safety
    .
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    This is like a DDD poll, only even more self evident. :D

    How about a "Is Ricky Martin really gay?" poll?

    Or

    "The Pope - a Catholic? y/n?"

    +1 How about "Do bears wear silly hats?" or maybe "Does the pope sh...

    Oh hang on, I got that wrong
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    This is like a DDD poll, only even more self evident.

    The man himself would disagree
    Porgy was reinforcing what Wheezy was saying. Both IMO are wrong. There is nothing to suggest that a motorist's perception of their vehicle, in this case private/personal property and their private domain is directly related to safety
    .
    That doesn't prove anything.

    "Poll: Weetabix or Oatabix?" 14 pages later and DDD would be quoting nutritional data and going head to head with Spen666 about salt content.
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,484
    I confess

    I started this thread in ever a moment of doubt in the face of DDD's posting

    Of course it's obviously true

    What the hell was I thinking

    Thanks AT

    I needed that
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • tailwindhometailwindhome Posts: 15,484
    .....and it's weetabix . Obviously
    Believe that a farther shore
    Is reachable from here.
    Believe in miracles
    And cures and healing wells
  • Fireblade96Fireblade96 Posts: 1,123
    So....does the pope pick his nose while driving ?
    Misguided Idealist
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 13,317
    So....does the pope pick his nose while driving ?

    No, he's too busy trying to keep that silly hat on his head while he sh*ts in the woods!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    I make no apologies for sticking to my convictions.

    I don't think the perception that its a private space affects how the motorists uses the car on a public road. I think it is a simplistic conclusion.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Thanks for a good thread ,,,,,,,,,,, :D

    Well I laughed anyway (esp the bit about salt content,,)

    :shock:
  • If you are interested in a good multidisciplinary investigation of the dynamics and the psychology of driving then I would recommend “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What it Says About Us)” by Tom Vanderbilt. It is a fairly light read but with enough references for those who want to go deeper.

    It covers psychology, our perceptional difficulties (including how drivers overestimate the quality of their own driving while seeing the fault in others), road design/ traffic planning and safety.
    Pain is only weakness leaving the body
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