Aggressive driving has received substantial media coverage during the past decade.We report 3 studies testing a territorial explanation of aggressive driving. Altman(1975) described attachment to, personalization of, and defense of primary territories (e.g., home) as being greater than for public territories (e.g., sunbathing spot on a beach). Aggressive driving may occur when social norms for defending a primary territory (i.e., one’s automobile) become confused with less aggressive norms for defending a public territory (i.e., the road). Both number of territory markers (e.g.,bumper stickers, decals) and attachment to the vehicle were significant predictors of aggressive driving. Mere presence of a territory marker predicts increased use of the vehicle to express anger and decreased use of adaptive/constructive expressions.
Szlemko, W. J., Benfield, J. A., Bell, P. A., Deffenbacher, J. L., & Troup, L. (2008). Territorial markings as a predictor of driver aggression and road rage. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(6), 1664-1688. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2008.00364.x