Road Rage? Mediating Road Rage through Blue Light: A Simulation Experiment.

Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle.

Rude gestures, showing “the finger”, yelling and cursing at another driver are some examples of road rage.

Technology can play a number of positive roles in mitigating road rage

Understanding drivers’ frustration may help to find better solutions to these aggressive behaviors.

The aim of this study was:

* to explore the design space of technological interventions that could help in avoiding road rage situations, and
* to test one concrete technological intervention through an empirical evaluation.

We implemented a noninvasive technical intervention using blue light to prevent and reduce road rage.

Research in this area is challenging because of the safety risks and ethical concerns associated with conducting a field study that addresses road rage.

In this research, participants were placed into stressing situations while in a driving simulation.

During the simulated driving task, the participants in the frustration condition were asked to reach an airport, which in fact did not exist, in less than 10 minutes.

Participants’ emotional responses in the experiment were measured using three different approaches: physiological measures, video recordings of behavior, and self-report measures.

Electromyographic (EMG) and skin conductance level (SCL) measurements were collected.

Results demonstrate that it is possible to induce frustration in driving simulators which makes it easier to study road rage and its associated factors.

Even though the results of the technical solution show minor evidence, the implications of this study gives clear insights for further investigation.

The simulation software used in the experiment was a software program named 3D Driving School v5.1, running on a high-end PC. The simulation was presented on an LCD computer screen and equipped with a Logitech FormulaTM vibration feedback steering wheel with pedals as control device.
For implementation of our possible intervention, a LED lamp was located behind the display so the participants were not aware of the device.

This research was done in collaboration with: