Links between observed and self-reported driving anger, observed and self-reported aggressive driving, and personality traits

Liva Abele, Sonja Haustein*, Mette Møller, Ingo Zettler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Driving anger increases risk-taking in traffic and road traffic accident involvement. Herein, we examine the links between self-reported and observed driving anger, self-reported and observed aggressive driving, and personality traits. Specifically, sixty drivers drove in an anger-inducing simulated driving scenario. A video camera recorded their verbal and gestural expression during the simulator drive. Two weeks before the simulator drive, we assessed participants’ basic personality traits, driving anger expression, and aberrant driving behaviour via an online survey. State anger was measured immediately before and after the simulator drive. From recorded simulator and video data, we obtained four measures: the number of accidents (simulator), an aggressive driving score (simulator), verbal expression of driving anger (video), and related gestures and headshakes (video). Verbal and gestural expression while driving were related to an increase in state anger in the simulator drive and different self-reported measures: While observed verbal expression was positively related to lapses and negatively related to constructive expression, gestural expression was positively related to both self-reported violations and self-reported aggressive expression. The traits Emotionality and Honesty-Humility were related to an increase in state anger and to verbal expression in the simulator drive, yet, age and gender modified the relation to personality traits. Results can support the development of personalised anger management interventions and anger mitigating in-vehicle devices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105516
JournalAccident Analysis & Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Driving anger
  • Driving simulator
  • DAX


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