Monday, April 22, 2013

Bumper Stickers Predict Driver's Road Rage

Bumper stickers affixed to automobiles are a definite step towards individualizing what is otherwise a relatively anonymous vehicle.  The content of these stickers can be hortatory, political, humorous, or a variety of other possibilities.  There's two dimensions that need consideration: (a) the content of the bumper stickers themselves; (b) the sheer number of stickers.

Obviously, a driver of a vehicle with a hostile or aggressively-toned sticker should set off alarms: it's adaptive to be wary of someone displaying the message:

This Car Protected by Smith and Wesson

But not necessarily:


Commit Random Acts of Kindness and Beauty.

But what about the number? 

Paul Bell, Lucy Troup, and William Szlemko reported in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology that drivers who plaster their vehicles with more stickers are more prone to road rage than drivers who leave their car or truck unadorned.

It’s related to territoriality. Researchers have long known that drivers who have a strong sense of personal space while in their vehicle are more likely to be road-ragers, and the more someone plasters his vehicle with bumper stickers and decals tend to be more territorial about the areas around their cars.

13 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i can believe that!

i have no bumper stickers. i remain in cognito!

John Hill said...

Interesting...

MarkD60 said...

As a motorcycle rider, I have my own observations on cars and drivers.

Mike said...

No stickers on mine.

Svejk said...

It's interesting that the quantity as well as substance of bumper stickers relate to road rage.

Dianne said...

I can see that as true
I have no bumper stickers
my license plate does have animals on it and it warns that I brake for them, not that anyone pays attention.

I don't really like bumper stickers, we don't need to be voicing our views everywhere at every moment. Those stick figure family things bug me too LOL
Guess I have car adornment rage ;)

BipolarBunny said...

It's been my experience the more "Jesus" the bumper sticker, the worse the driver.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I'm bumper stickerless too. Used to have 'Geaux Tigers.'

Brandi said...

I thought that having a lot of bumper stickers simply meant that the car was old!

Kristen Drittsekkdatter said...

Too many bumper stickers mean the person is overopinionated. And forces his views on others.

Bilbo said...

No bumper stickers on my car. We used to have a weirdo in our neighborhood who plastered his entire pickup truck, front-to-back and top-to-bottom, with Washington Redskins bumper stickers. Another guy's old junker was completely covered with assorted bumper stickers, PLUS he had glued all sorts of plastic figures to the roof!

Duckbutt said...

We have one: "Wag more bark less."

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

A lot of Jesus bumper stickers around here.