Hostility, driving anger, and dangerous driving: The emerging role of hemispheric preference

Yori Gidron, Esma Gaygisiz, Timo Lajunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Various studies have implicated psychosocial variables (e.g., hostility) in risk of dangerous driving and traffic accidents. However, whether these variables are related to more basic neurobiological factors, and whether such associations have implications for the modification of psychosocial risk factors in the context of driving, have not been examined in depth. This study examined the relationship between hemispheric preference (HP), hostility and self-reported dangerous driving, and the ability to affect driving anger via hemisphere activating cognitive exercises (HACE). Methods In Study 1, 254 Turkish students completed questionnaires of hostility, HP and driving behavior. In Study 2, we conducted a "proof of concept" experimental study, and tested effects of left, right and neutral HACE on driving anger, by exposing N = 650 Turkish students to written scenarios including either logical (left hemisphere), visuo-spatial (right hemisphere) or "mild doses" of both types of contents (control). Results In Study 1, left-HP was associated with higher hostility and with more dangerous driving, and hostility mediated the relationship between L-HP and reported driving behavior. In Study 2, only right-HACE led to immediate significant reductions in self-reported driving anger. Conclusions Left-HP is related to hostility and to dangerous driving, and it may be possible to partly reduce driving anger by right-HACE. Future studies must replicate these findings with objective measures, more enduring interventions and longer follow-ups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Cognitive exercises
  • Dangerous driving
  • Driving anger
  • Hemispheric preference
  • Hostility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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