Baseline Road Safety Research Program: Driver Aggression

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

In response to the recent Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Vulnerable Road Users, the Baseline Management Committee (BMC), championed by the Department of Transport and Planning (DTP), has requested a proposal for a scoping study to understand and address aggressive driving in Victoria. The three key research questions posed by the BMC are:
1) What is the contribution of aggressive driving to road trauma?
2) Has aggressive driving increased post COVID? and
3) What countermeasures can be introduced to reduce aggressive driving?
Aggressive driving is perceived by the community as a serious issue. Aggressive driving was noted in 78 (27%; see Appendix A) of the 296 (3 not accessible) submissions to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Vulnerable Road Users. The submissions were prepared by individuals, organisations and local councils. Key themes included: an increase post-COVID in aggressive driving (citing tailgating several times), general risk posed to vulnerable road users, particularly cyclists, by aggressive drivers, and the need for education of drivers and support for cyclists. In response to this, and in conversations with the BMC, it is clear that immediate work is required to understand the extent to which aggressive driving is a problem and what solutions are available to reduce or mitigate aggressive behaviours.
The proposed project is a scoping study to understand what data are available for examining aggressive driving pre- and post-COVID in Victoria. The aims of the scoping study will be to establish a feasible definition of aggressive driving and aggressive driving indicators in Victoria (e.g., crash-types, infringements), to understand what data are available to address this issue, and to identify the countermeasures that can be readily adopted or the existing measures that can be tailored to target reductions in aggressive driving. At the end of the scoping study, we will have information regarding the viability of further work to address the contribution of aggressive driving to road trauma and examine changes over time.
The scoping study will address the following objectives set out by the BMC in their request for this proposal:
1) Establish an operational definition of aggressive driving in Victoria, limited to use of the vehicle by a driver.
2) Review and summarise the research literature regarding aggressive driving, whether this is symbolic of a broader aggression issue, whether it is more prevalent in specific road user groups and whether this has increased post COVID. This review will build upon existing systemic reviews and project reports.
3) Identify aggressive driving within Victoria and under a range of driving contexts (i.e., urban, rural, time of day, traffic volume).
4) Use existing research to identify the contribution of aggressive driving to road trauma.
5) Provide evidence for aggressive driving in Victoria (or other jurisdictions) and whether there has been an increase post-COVID. Potential sources may include police-related data, coronial data, and family violence data. These will be used to identify availability/reliability of possible direct and proxy measures for aggressive driving and related crashes. Overlaps with hoon drivers, high risk frequent offenders and drink/drug drivers will also be explored.
6) Determine access to these data, and insights this would offer to risk assessments for road trauma and mitigation.
7) Propose methods and cost a viable study if there is sufficient evidence / data availability to justify the need to progress to a further study.
8) Based on available literature, provide recommendations of effective countermeasures suitable for the Victorian driving / licensing context. Consideration will also be given to the role of automated vehicles as a mechanism to reduce, or possibly exacerbate aggressive driving.
Effective start/end date1/01/2431/07/24


  • aggressive driving
  • driving
  • Road Safety
  • baseline
  • Road crashes