If you believe the marketing hype, the model car you drive says a lot about you. Are you a shark…a jungle cat…a rugged adventurer…a road warrior…or a road princess? What made you choose your car? Does it make you feel powerful, or eco-friendly? Like a sports star, or a soccer mom?
What does your car say about you? Or, more important, how your car make you feel? According to an article on ScienceDaily, a scientific study shows that people who view their car as an extension of themselves have stronger aggressive driving tendencies.
One third of all car accidents that result in injures and two thirds of all fatal car wrecks are caused by aggressive driving. According to the research, people who think of their car as a reflection of their self-identity—regardless of what that identity is—are more likely to behave aggressively on the road, breaking the law in the process. Similarly, people who value their possessions (cars and other things) and have a greater sense of materialism also drive more aggressively. And young people who are just beginning to drive or who have purchased their first vehicle are more likely to show off and drive aggressively.
The study findings suggest that:
“…the perception of the car as an extension of the self leads to more aggressive behavior on the road rather than increased driving cautiousness,” the authors wrote, adding that “individuals may view cars and the road space they occupy as their territory and will seek to maintain control over it and defend it as necessary.”
Unfortunately, they research just correlated attitude and driving behavior; it didn’t offer any advice. Some take-away thoughts: Be especially watchful of flashy sports cars on the road, the kind that might make their owners feel more powerful…a teen’s first car should be purchased with safety in mind, as opposed to image…and remind yourself daily that your car is nothing more than a tool to get you from place to place. It’s okay to love your car, just not too much!
To read the full article on ScienceDaily, click here: People Who Really Identify With Their Car