ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Dude, calm down! De-escalating driving anger using in-car information

Wollstädter, S, Vollrath, M, Pfister, H-R

Driver Psychology / Human Factors


Aggressive driving is cited as a major cause for road accidents. Previous research has singled out driver’s anger as a key antecedent for aggressive driving behaviour. This ongoing research project investigates how technical devices can be used to de-escalate drivers’ anger. In a driving simulator experiment we explore different ways of in-car information with regard to their ability to reduce driver’s anger. The simulated drive was designed to elicit driver’s anger by inhibiting their progress and comprised a traffic jam, a tailgater, and a slow driving car in front with sections of unimpeded driving in between. In-car information was either designed to distract driver’s attention from the anger eliciting aspect of the event (distraction) or to change the appraisal of the anger-provoking event (reappraisal). At 9 predefined route sections participants were ask about their amount of experienced anger. Driving parameters were measured during the whole simulated drive. Preliminary results indicate that in-car information may be able to modify driver’s anger.