This thesis is an exploratory study of aggressive driving and road rage from the point of view of traffic enforcement officers. Through an integrated theoretical approach consisting of cultural, structural , and social psychological explanations, the study addresses what constitutes aggressive driving, who are typical aggressive drivers, and where, when, why, and how it occurs. A focus on traffic enforcement officers comes out of a dearth of research on their opinions. The three theoretical components were applied to the analysis of traffic enforcement officers' attitudes and perceptions. This was done by employing methods such as interviewing, observing, and surveying. Surveys, which measured variables and concepts such as sex, gender, age, deviance, aggression, risk perception, values, institutions, and norms in relation to aggressive driving, were distributed to 64 traffic enforcement officers. Results showed that there are five common acts constituting aggressive driving, time restraints and blaming others are typical excuses, the gap is widening as to who commits violations, and aggressive driving is a selfish, individual act, which officers witness every day. Policy implications are suggested, along with future research which focuses on using an integrated theory and combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Of particular interest is a comparison of law enforcement, media, and public perceptions and attitudes regarding aggressive driving actions and behavior. More emphasis might be placed on risk perception, connections to deviance, and the misinterpretation and unpredictability of varying actions and reactions among drivers.


Blair, Robert


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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