A cognitive-behavioural intervention to reduce driving anger: Evaluation based on a mixed-method approach

Sonja Haustein*, Ragnhild Holgaard, Līva Ābele, Sandra Kristina Krogh Andersen, Mette Møller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Road anger is an increasing problem that does not only lead to discomfort but is also associated with aggressive driving and an increased risk of crash involvement. Based on a cognitive-behavioural approach, we developed and tested a short group intervention (90 min) that aimed at decreasing road anger among drivers. We used a before-after control group design, surveying people who did (EG) and who did not (CG) participate in the group intervention. The sample (n = 126) consisted of 80 men and 46 women with a mean age of 54 years (SD = 13). In addition, a sub-sample (n = 37) participated in a driving simulator study before and after the intervention. To enrich the survey- and simulator-based findings, we conducted a focus group discussion about post-intervention experiences in traffic. Comparisons of pre and post survey results showed that constructive expression as measured by a slightly revised sub-scale of the Driving Anger Expression Inventory (DAX-short), increased significantly for EG participants but not within the CG. In addition, the involvement in milder forms of road anger (e.g., yelling) decreased significantly in the EG but not in the CG. In the simulator study, we observed that EG participants decreased the extent of aggressive driving, commenting and gesturing – however, none of these differences were statistically significant. EG participants self-assessed the intervention overall positive and 44 % reported that they had changed their way of thinking or reacting in traffic. Overall, results indicate a positive effect of the cognitive-behavioural group intervention. Study limitations, possibilities to improve the intervention and different areas of application are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106144
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Volume156
ISSN0001-4575
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Driving anger
  • Road anger
  • Intervention
  • Evaluation
  • Driver education

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