Angry thoughts in Spanish drivers and their relationship with crash-related events. The mediation effect of aggressive and risky driving

Accid Anal Prev. 2017 Sep;106:99-108. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2017.05.015. Epub 2017 Jun 7.


Several studies have related aggressive and risky driving behaviours to accidents. However, the cognitive processes associated with driving aggression have received very little attention in the scientific literature. With the aim of shedding light on this topic, the present research was carried out on a sample of 414 participants in order to validate the Driver's Angry Thoughts Questionnaire (DATQ) with a sample of Spanish drivers and to test the hypothesis of the mediation effect of aggressive and risky driving on the relationship between drivers' angry thoughts and crash-related events. The results showed a good fit with the five-factor model of the questionnaire (Judgmental and Disbelieving Thinking, Pejorative Labelling and Verbally Aggressive Thinking, Revenge and Retaliatory Thinking, Physically Aggressive Thinking, and Coping Self-Instruction). Moreover, slight gender differences were observed in drivers' angry thoughts, with women scoring higher than men (η2=0.03). However, younger drivers had higher scores than older drivers in general (η2=0.06). Finally, several mediation effects of aggressive driving and risky driving on the relationship between aggressive thinking and the crash-related events were found. Implications of the results for research in traffic psychology and clinical assessment of aggressive drivers as well as limitations of the study are discussed.

Keywords: Age differences; Aggressive driving; Crash-related events; Driver’s angry thoughts questionnaire; Gender differences; Risky driving.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aggression*
  • Anger*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires