Home> Surveys> 9 Zones Chart of Complaints

What Drivers Complain About
Arranged by Feelings, Thoughts, and Acts

Dr. Leon James
2000


This CHART shows what drivers complain about when asked to list the driver behaviors that made them aggressive. These answers were typed by respondents who filled out DrDriving's Road Rage Survey. The question was:

Question 6-2:
List the aggressive behaviors of other drivers that you object to the most.

I analyzed the available answers using DrDriving’s Inventory of the Nine Zones of Your Driving Personality. The resulting categorization is given in the CHART below. These preliminary results reveal some of the driver psychology  -- how drivers think -- that we need to understand in order to regain control over ourselves as aggressive drivers. It is likely that you have similar complaints about other drivers, hence you too need to look at your thinking as a driver to become aware of them and thus to gain control over them. This will protect you and your passengers from stress and injury. You will also be contributing to the general road peace and public safety. Driving complaints and the thinking that goes with it not only increase our stress and risk, but also disrupts the forces of community that we feel as a group. Learning to better manage our traffic emotions is therefore self-protective, altruistic, patriotic -- all at the same time.

The right hand column represents the current available results for the Road Rage Survey. These will be statistically analyzed in the next updating of this CHART. This column identifies the root causes of aggressive driving and pinpoints the behavioral areas we need to concentrate on for self-modification efforts as lifelong learners. (The Top Five Worst Summary Table below).

ZONE LABEL DESCRIPTION OF BEHAVIOR COMPLAINT RANKING
NATIONAL SAMPLE
1=most complained about  9=least
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude reckless driving 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude disobeying traffic laws 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude Parking illegally (double park, park in handicap zone) (3 entries) 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude driving on your side of the road 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude failure to yield (4 entries) 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude going through red lights (11 entries) 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude not stopping at stop signs 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude passing illegally (on a double yellow line, or a stopped school bus) (2 entries) 3
1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY
Negative Driving Attitude turning without signaling (18 entries) 3
2
COGNITIVE SAFETY
Not Being Safety Literate passing dangerously or too close (3 entries) 8
2
COGNITIVE SAFETY
Not Being Safety Literate not yielding to merging traffic (3 entries) 8
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action people who don't know how to drive through four-way stop 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action Driving too slow (including making a near stop when turning) (3 entries) 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action putting on the turn signal way too early. 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action slowing down then speeding up then slowing down then speeding up 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action talking on cell phone when traffic is congested (4 entries) 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action following too close (8 entries) 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action leaving bright lights on (2 entries) 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action not concentrating on what is occurring on the road or not paying attention (4 entries) 5
3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY
Alertness and Correct Action preoccupied 5
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness being rude 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness jamming in front rather than waiting in line 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness jockeying for position at the red light. 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness never giving any one a break (not being considerate) (2 entries) 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness obscene gestures (insults) (6 entries) 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness being rude to walkers who have the right of way (2 entries) 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness speeding up to beat the traffic light 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness speeding up when one is trying to change lanes so that you have to wait and enter the lane behind them (2 entries) 6
4
AFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL
Rudeness and Unfairness thoughtless and in a hurry 6
5
COGNITIVE SELF-CONTROL
Emotional Intelligence speeding up to close the gap when I try to enter their lane (and I’m signaling) (2 entries) 9
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability aggressive braking or acceleration 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability honking (5 entries) 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability shining bright lights to retaliate 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability slamming on brakes 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability wanting to just slam on the brakes when people are tailgating me 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability Yelling (cursing, yelling back) (7 entries) 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability going too fast (speeding, etc.) (13 entries) 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability lane changing in a reckless manner without signaling or erratically or weaving through traffic or switching lanes continuously trying to get to the front) (23 entries) 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability passing on the right shoulder when a car is turning left (4 entries) 1
6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL
Impulsiveness and Unpredictability want to get somewhere fast, rushing, being impatient (6 entries) 1
7
AFFECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Egotistical Character general disregard for anyone else on the road (including not yielding to pedestrians) (3 entries) 7
7
AFFECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Egotistical Character gestures intended to insult the other driver (2 entries) 7
7
AFFECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Egotistical Character not allowing me to change lanes (3 entries) 7
7
AFFECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Egotistical Character stereo too loud 7
8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Negative Fantasies going slow in the fast lane (or hogging) (11 entries) 2
8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Negative Fantasies trying to run over me 2
8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Negative Fantasies Racing on the freeway 2
8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Negative Fantasies Miscellaneous (police going too slow to annoy us) 2
8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Negative Fantasies Tailgating (30 entries) 2
8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY
Negative Fantasies not merging when lanes are closed until last possible second (2 entries) 4
9
SENSORY-MOTOR RESPONSIBILITY
Hostile Driving Style blocking (driveways, turns, street, entrance ramp, merge lanes) (6 entries) 4
9
SENSORY-MOTOR RESPONSIBILITY
Hostile Driving Style cutting into you lane then slowing down (cutting off or cutting too close or cutting in then slowing down) (30 entries) 4

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SUMMARY CHART OF COMPLAINTS


The Top Worst Five Driver Characteristics
That Drivers Complain About

1. Top Worst

zone 6
SENSORY-MOTOR SELF-CONTROL

Impulsiveness and Unpredictability

2. Top Second Worst

zone 8
COGNITIVE RESPONSIBILITY

Negative
Fantasies

3. Top Third Worst

zone 1
AFFECTIVE SAFETY

Negative
Driving Attitude

4. Top Fourth Worst

zone 9
SENSORY-MOTOR RESPONSIBILITY

Hostile
Driving Style

5. Top Fifth Worst

zone 3
SENSORY-MOTOR SAFETY

Alertness
and Correct Action

See the CHART of the Nine Zones of Your Driving Behavior explained and linked

Some Official Characteristics of Aggressive Drivers


Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Express
frustration
Drivers climb into the anonymity of an automobile and take out their frustrations on anybody at any time. Their emotions are high and the concern for fellow motorists is low.
Lack attention
to driving
Distractions from driving are a major cause of roadway crashes. Motorists are often seen eating, drinking, and primping as they drive. Some drivers make their vehicles a "home away from home" with fax machines and laptop computers.
Tailgate Tailgating creates a serious hazard. It is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious injuries.
Make frequent, unnecessary
lane changes
Drivers who whip in and out of lanes merely to advance one car length ahead are a danger to other motorists.
Rubberneck Slowing down to look at an incident is a natural human reaction, but this behavior slows traffic, causes congestion, and may lead to another car crash.
Run red lights Disregarding traffic controls is a leading cause of urban crashes.
Speed Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a "road racer," going too fast for conditions, and weaving in and out of traffic are some examples of speeding.
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