Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Venting anger in cyberspace: self-entitlement versus self-preservation in #roadrage tweets

journal contribution
posted on 2016-10-01, 00:00 authored by A N Stephens, Steven Trawley, K Ohtsuka
The increase in the popularity of social media and access to portable smart-technology means more drivers are using forums to vent their frustrations about driving. A content analysis was performed on 80,923 twitter posts relating to road rage collected over a 13-month period. The aim was to understand what sources of anger drivers report on social media. Approximately two thirds of the analysed tweets related directly to anger over another driver perceived as a perpetrator of inappropriate behaviour. Judgements of the improper speed of other drivers were the most common tweets. However, a general attitude also emerged where other drivers were seen as "idiots," "unskilled," and "should not be driving." Such a downward comparison is likely to predispose drivers to unjustly blame other drivers for frustrating situations that may be out of their control. Twitter appears to be a social media forum commonly used to vent anger by drivers. Posts ranged from text message, a photo of the offending vehicle or of the driver, or a 6-s video filmed while driving. The sample of tweeted angry comments indicated that many drivers used smart technology to express their anger. However, the motivation behind this action may vary and may be to express anger, report the incident, or to warn the public. The findings highlight the need for further research to understand the prevalence and danger of anger-provoked distraction with smart technology.



Transportation research Part F: Traffic psychology and behaviour




Part 2


400 - 410




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier