Sunday, 25 December 2011

Are pickup truck drivers more aggressive?

Okay, each time someone's tried to drive this bicyclist off the road, by accelerating behind and honking like hell, the aggressor's been driving a pickup truck. It's happened in the Southern parts of Winnipeg and it's also happened in the North End. This is anecdotal evidence and as such is prone to a full array of biases and prejudices, but it's still surprising and warrants a look at the available research.

According to a University of Texas study, late adolescent drivers of a pickup truck are pretty dangerous.

Parents and teen drivers take note: a pickup could be the most dangerous vehicle for a 16-17 year old to drive, so much so that teens driving them are 100 percent more likely (or two times as likely) to be severely injured during a crash than a teen of the same age driving a car.

...

Young adults are likely to continue driving aggressively until about 20 years of age, when accompanied by other young adults. Bhat and his colleagues suggest that concerted education and awareness campaigns on aggressive driving for teens ages 18-20 could help.

...

Teenagers driving a pickup are more likely to drive aggressively and sustain serious injuries in a crash. While a ban on pickups during the GDL program is impractical, Bhat and his colleagues recommend that it be communicated to parents as part of the program.

"Research Warns to Think Twice About Teens Driving Pickups". Cockrell School of Engineering Press Release.
Personal experience still seems to indicate that there are quite a few twenty-something aggressive pickup truck drivers in Winnipeg.

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