Finally – some science I can completely get behind! An article last week declared that drivers of expensive cars are jerks.
One study measured this by clocking vehicles at various crossroads. It found that drivers of more “flashy vehicles” are less likely to stop for pedestrians. And not just that, but as the cost of the car goes up, the likelihood that the driver will even slow down decreases. The researchers speculate that luxury car owners “feel a sense of superiority over other road users” and were thus less able to empathize with lowly sidewalk-dwellers. And I’m sure no one will be surprised that the race and gender of the pedestrian matters as well.
Apparently this discovery of a car-value-to-jerkish-behavior correlation isn’t new; The Journal of Transport and Health, backed up a Finnish study published in January found that men who own flashy vehicles are more likely to be “argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic.” According to the study “these personality traits explain the desire to own high-status products, and the same traits also explain why such people break traffic regulations more frequently than others.”
Obviously no one wants to tar every single luxury-car owner with one broad brush, but the generalities don’t look good. We just have to worry about how all the small, cheap, beater car owners will now feel smug!
What’s one extra component you’d like to have on your car? Extra smugness points to anybody who doesn’t have a car!!