Feature

It's not your imagination: BMW drivers are the biggest jerks

It's science

Type "BMW drivers are" into Google, and this is what pops up:

Is the world bitter about their success? Maybe. But two studies surfaced this week that back up the search engine.

The first, by Paul K. Piff, a researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, connects two types of insufferable driving habits to really nice cars.

For the first habit, researchers observed a crosswalk. When a car approached the crosswalk, a person stepped into the road, and researchers recorded how drivers reacted. (California state law says a driver must stop if a pedestrian is in a crosswalk.)

For the second part, researchers watched a four-way intersection, and recorded how likely cars were to cut in front of others when it was not their turn.

At both posts, researchers gave the cars number values, with older-looking, scuffed-up cars getting a "1," and newer, luxury cars getting a "5."

They found that drivers with newer luxury vehicles were more likely to both ignore pedestrians and cut ahead in the four-way rotation.

"[Y]ou see this huge boost in a driver’s likelihood to commit infractions in more expensive cars," Piff told The New York Times. "In our crosswalk study, none of the cars in the beater-car category drove through the crosswalk. They always stopped for pedestrians."

The second study was a poll conducted by the discount website VoucherCodesPro in the U.K. It asked 2,837 British drivers to answer questions about the make, model, and color of their cars, and how often they experienced road rage.

The conclusion: The biggest ragers were men, age 35-50, with blue BMWs.

So Google was right. But there is one twist: "In our higher-status vehicle category, Prius drivers had a higher tendency to commit infractions than most," Mr. Piff told The Times.

The reason, thinks Piff: The study took place in northern California, where hybrid vehicles are seen as status symbols.

Recommended

The disappearing estate tax
Estate tax.
Feature

The disappearing estate tax

Gas prices create political strain for Biden
Gas prices.
Feature

Gas prices create political strain for Biden

Initial jobless claims sink to lowest level since 1969
Bartender.
take the plunge

Initial jobless claims sink to lowest level since 1969

The daily business briefing: November 24, 2021
Gas
Business briefing

The daily business briefing: November 24, 2021

Most Popular

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 cartoons about Thanksgiving inflation

Who pays America's taxes?
Taxes.
Briefing

Who pays America's taxes?

Neal Stephenson recommends 6 books on information manipulation
Neal Stephenson.
Feature

Neal Stephenson recommends 6 books on information manipulation