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Driver Improvement Study

Principal Investigator:
Dennis M. Donovan, PhD
Director, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute ; Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute

Sponsor: Washington Traffic Safety Commission
Categories: Social Policy

Description: An area of growing public concern is aggressive driving or "road rage," a set of behaviors which may range from swearing under one's breath at another driver who has irritated you to running another car off the road or some other form of overt violence. Relatively little is known about those individuals who are involved in the more overt road rage incidents, however it appears that they share a number of personality, attitudinal, and behavioral characteristics with other high-risk drivers, including drivers convicted of DUI. Previous studies have shown that drivers with multiple non-DUI violations are at increased risk for being arrested and convicted for drinking and driving and that they may also be more prone to aggressive driving and road rage. This study, funded by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, has two main objectives: 1) determine the relationship among drinking behavior, driving aggression, and driving behaviors through self-reports collected from an anonymous survey among participants in the Department of Licensing Driver Improvement Program and from the general driving population; and 2) develop, implement, and evaluate a new driver improvement program designed to reduce the likelihood of alcohol-impaired driving and driving aggression.

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