The Ripple Effect of Drivers' Behaviour on the Road

December 2015

The Ripple Effect of Drivers’ Behaviour

This report examines how ‘ordinary, everyday’ drivers can get involved in antagonistic interactions with other drivers, in what we term ‘combative driving’, and how those same drivers engage in co-operative interactions with other drivers, in what we term ‘considerate driving’.

When negotiating road space with others, drivers frequently apply the logic of reciprocity. Since many interactions are fleeting, the reciprocity is often indirect: when one driver is helpful to you, you are more likely to help another. Whilst much less frequent, the converse can also be true: when one driver impedes you, you are more likely to be less helpful to, or possibly even to impede, another. As a result, the very behaviours which we find provocative in others are the same behaviours we sometimes engage in as a consequence.

This research has been conducted in close co-operation with Goodyear to build on research the company has undertaken in previous years on various aspects of road safety, in particular analysing the specific issues of novice drivers and the relationship with their parents and driving instructors.


Please contact LSE Consulting if you would like to receive a copy of the full report.

Client: Goodyear

Authors: Chris Tennant, Susan Howard, Bradley Franks, Matthew Hall, Martin Bauer & Sally Stares

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