The measure for angry drivers (MAD)

A. N. Stephens, A. Lennon, C. Bihler, S. Trawley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Although interest in driver anger has increased over the past few decades, the scales for measuring the tendency to driving anger have remained relatively unchanged in terms of the items within them. However, in more recent studies, researchers have found it necessary to modify these instruments, sometimes considerably, suggesting that scales to measure how drivers feel about driving require updating. This paper reports two studies aimed at developing an updated measure for trait driver anger. From an initial pool of 105 items, including items related to contemporary driving contexts, a scale with 23 items and three underlying factors was derived (Study 1) and subsequently confirmed using an independent sample (Study 2). The Measure for Angry Drivers (MAD) consists of three factors: danger posed by others (12 items); travel delays (7 items) and aggression from others (4 items). All three factors showed good reliability. Factors of the MAD were found to be positively related to trait anger and aggressive tendencies, demonstrating good construct validity. While further research is required to extend beyond self-reports, the MAD is a promising new tool for assessing driver tendency to become angered across different driving situations. Scales such as this are important as they provide measures of the emotions that underlie dangerous and risky driving behaviours. It is only by understanding the mechanisms behind these behaviours that we can reduce them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-484
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Aggression
  • Driving anger
  • MAD

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