Ride Boldly!

Bikes, bicycling, and road safety.

Beware Cars With Bumper Stickers – Study

A study from Colorado State University suggests that drivers who personalize their cars – think bumper stickers, air fresheners, personalized plates, hula girls on the dashboard – are more prone to road rage. While bicyclists should always watch the traffic around them, this may provide another clue to prompt defensive vehicular cycling behaviors.

The personalization is considered a territorial marker. Boundaries between the personal space and the public space occur. As a result, these drivers are more prone to defend their right-of-way, and are far more prone to name-calling, tailgating, getting out of the vehicle to argue or using their car to block or ram another.

The study also says that it doesn’t matter WHAT the personalization is – so even people who have Wellstone stickers or ‘SLOW DOWN – Respect People & Neighborhoods!’ stickers are potential road ragers.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this, given that I’ve experienced having a hybrid with world peace stickers try to run me off the road near the U of M.

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Author: julie

Julie Kosbab is an online marketing consultant and active transportation advocate living in Anoka County, Minnesota. She was one of Minnesota's only League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors when certified in 2005. She is a past member of the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association. She has 2 children and 4 bicycles. Find her on Twitter as @betweenstations.

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