ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Aggressive driving in advertising

Redshaw, Sarah



The paper will explore the issue of aggressive driving and how advertising can be classified as suggesting aggressive driving. Approaches to aggression in road safety have generally confined aggressive behaviour to extreme acts of aggression involving intentional harm to others. It is argued that in taking into account clinical views on aggression, speeding and tailgating should be included as instrumental aggression, which is characterised by controlled skill and handling and thus contrasted with reactive or impulsive aggression. Focus group discussions are presented in which a television advertisement associates a four-wheel drive with extreme sports. These discussions indicate that while there is some recognition and criticism of the suggestion of risk-taking in the ad, most were not critical of the theme of the ad. Recognition of aggressive themes in advertisements does not necessarily mean critique or reflection on those themes. Females are more likely to be critical and to consider the consequences of particular driving persuasions whereas the males are more likely to consider the technicalities of handling particular types of vehicles.