Preemptive Driver Education Training to Help Mitigate the Future Incidence of Road Rage

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Date of Award

Fall 2014


A report by the American Automobile Association (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety states that "road rage and aggressive driving are factors in up to 56 percent of fatal crashes" ("Aggressive"), contributing to an estimated 36,300 U.S. traffic deaths in 2012 and 3.9 million crash injuries requiring medical attention (Injury Facts, 104). Aggressive drivers kill two to four times more people than drunk drivers because of their dangerous driving behavior of dominating others who are considered "in the way" (James 25). Many of the more serious incidents of road rage are committed by those with unmanaged psychological problems (Stuster 7), but there is increasing evidence that road-rage behavior is a learned reaction that begins, for many, in childhood by watching parents lose control and drive recklessly, putting themselves and others at risk (Stuster 6). The purpose of this study was to explore the value of education and awareness in helping driver-education students understand the potential consequences of road-rage behavior. Based on the findings, an educational tool (a video) was developed for driver-education students that could make these consequences real and personal, and suggest methods for reducing impulsive bursts of anger and other dangerous driving behaviors. The method began with research on the psychological and physiological causes and symptoms of road rage, what treatments or educational tools are currently in use to help manage this behavior, and the consideration of whether other methods could be developed to augment existing education and awareness. The research included primary and secondary research on educational strategies that could be applied to help modify or manage irrational behavior and encourage more- patient and more-cooperative driving. The research culminated in the development of an educational video that could be combined with the existing driver-education curriculum or used as a stand-alone tool. The training was designed to be presented through certified driver-education channels as well as through businesses, churches and other organizations that are concerned about safe driving in their communities.


Virgil Scott

Subject Categories

Art and Design | Arts and Humanities