And so are other “fancy car” drivers too.
There are a ton of automotive stereotypes out there, but probably the most notorious is the one that claims “BMW drivers are douchebags”. It was so prevalent that we had to add one to our ‘Top 10 High-End Douchebag Cars’ list. Maybe its jealousy, maybe its fact, but there are a few recent studies that support the latter.
A recent study in the U.K. focused on drivers of 2,837 vehicles and came up with this: men between the ages of 35 to 50 driving blue BMWs were the likeliest to engage in road rage. The study asked drivers to pick out the make and color of the cars that they’ve experienced road rage from. Blue was the most popular color followed up by black, silver, green and red. Men were also apt to lose their temper seven times per month on average while women averaged three times.
And then another, older study conducted by the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, found the same instances of douchebaggery amongst BMW and other luxury makes.
The study was conducted for one week at a busy intersection where law dictates that drivers are to stop before the crosswalk when a pedestrian is present. The research team selected a crosswalk and then had a pedestrian appear at the edge of the curb then walk out onto the crosswalk as cars approached. In all 152 drivers were studied at the crosswalk and then another 274 at another four-way stop intersection.
Researcher Paul K. Piff claimed that about 80-percent of the cars “did the right thing,” during the study. Piff remarked “But you see this huge boost in a driver’s likelihood to commit infractions in more expensive cars,” he said. “In our crosswalk study, none of the cars in the beater-car category drove through the crosswalk. They always stopped for pedestrians.”
“One of the most significant trends was that fancy cars were less likely to stop,” said Piff, and then added that, “BMW drivers were the worst.”
But possibly the cherry-on-top for all automotive enthusiasts in this study was when Piff stated “In our higher-status vehicle category, Prius drivers had a higher tendency to commit infractions than most.”
So there you have it. Those stereotypes of BMW drivers behaving like douchebags have been confirmed by SCIENCE! And the same goes for Prius drivers.