Aggressive Driving: Self-Reported Anger Expression and its Relationship with Driver Personality

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc Student, School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Iran

3 Research Fellow, Monash University Accident Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia


Aggressive driving is a global road safety concern. However, little research has been conducted to understand the frequency of aggression nor what factors contribute to this. Moreover, in these researches, the effect of personality aspects on various driving anger expressions has not been investigated. The current study aims to investigate how drivers express their anger aggressively and its relationship with The Big Five personality traits. A total of 534 licensed drivers; 36.1 % had been involved in at least one crash in the last three years completed a brief survey assessing aggression and personality. Specifically, the driving anger expression inventory, which measures the frequency of verbal aggression, personal physical aggression, aggressive use of the vehicle and adaptive constructive responses, was investigated. The most common type of aggression was verbal aggression. Younger, and male drivers reported more frequent aggression. Neuroticism was related to all types of aggression, showing individuals with more neurotic characteristics also have more frequent verbal, personal physical aggression, use the vehicle more often to express anger and have less frequent adaptive constructive ways of dealing with anger. Neuroticism was also related to more crash involvement. In contrast, drivers with higher levels of conscientiousness more frequently dealt with anger in a constructive way and had been involved in fewer crashes. These findings show that the behavior and performance of drivers can be related to their personality and individuals higher in neuroticism report more dangerous behavior. This is important to assist with strategies to reduce high-risk driving in individuals.