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Aggressive Driving and Road Rage in Korea
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage in Korea
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December 01, 2020


Despite widespread social interest in aggressive driving, road rage, and various legislative changes based on an awareness of the seriousness of such behaviors, there is still a lack of empirical studies on the characteristics of individuals involved in aggressive driving and road rage. The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary data that support the understanding of the aggressive driving and road rage and to develop the policies to reduce and prevent violent crimes on the road. For this, both quantitative and qualitative research methods are used; drivers' perceptions and actual experiences of aggressive driving and road rage were identified through empirical research, and legal cases were reviewed to discover the problems with legislative provisions in Korea, as well as related legal systems and preventive measures in other countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. The results from surveys and in-depth interviews indicate that drivers who exhibit road rage often have engaged simultaneously in aggressive driving. It has been shown empirically that the victim-offender overlap in aggressive driving and road rage; perpetrators and victims are in the same group who share similar characteristics. On the other hand, the survey revealed the differences between those who experience single victimization/offense and those who experience multiple victimization/offenses; damage/loss from aggressive driving and road rage, general perceptions on driving, and driving anger are different. This confirms the need to reflect the specificity of each action in developing prevention policy and publicizing it. Perpetrators and victims of road rage tried to remember what is in their favors from each standpoint, reflecting our society's lack of empathy and consideration for the other's situation. In addition, there have been differences in social demographic characteristics, fears, attitudes toward and exposure to general violence, general violent crime experiences (involving damages), tensions in daily life, and level of self-control, depending on the type of experience(victimization and perpetration) with aggressive driving and/or road rage. These differences show that traffic-related factors are not the only triggers for violent behaviors on the road. Instead, aggressive driving and road rage experiences are closely related to attitudes and experiences from everyday life. Therefore, it is required to establish more comprehensive policies that accompanies general social awareness and institutional change. This study does not address all various and heterogeneous types of violence on the road. ; only part of aggressive driving and road rage are considered. Furthermore, it is difficult to secure survey participants who are willing to cooperate in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. For the interpretation and application of survey results need careful consideration because respondents from the current online survey utilize online panels assembled with voluntary participants. In particularly for the sample of the older adults aged 60 or older, a combination of a household visit interview and an online panel was used, since it is difficult to secure online panels of elderly. Thus, greater attention is required in interpreting the research results. Despite these limitations, this study is important in that to provide empirical data on aggressive driving and road rage experiences in Korea focusing on characteristics from various levels including individual and environment related factors; furthermore, a mixture of quantitative and qualitative surveys was employed. There still a problem in which the concept of aggressive driving and road rage is ambiguous, and the understanding of the related issues is insufficient. In the current study, the concept of aggressive driving and road rage was clearly delineated and both perpetration and victimization experience are considered for better understanding. Another aim of the study was to review legal responses to aggressive driving and road rage in Korea. Responses and countermeasures to these violence on the road abroad were examined, United States, United Kingdom, and Australia were considered. The ultimate direction of the policy and related preventive policies including legal responses and social changes were proposed. With this study as a starting point, it is hoped that further studies related to aggressive driving and road rage will be carried out, concepts and measurement of the aggressive driving and road rage, empirical research regarding various aspects on the violence on the road, and comparative studies at the legal and institutional policies are expected.

Soohyeong Choi

Crime Trends&Analysis

Senior Research Fellow

Soohyeong Choi's picture

Research Interest (Major)

Criminal Sociology

Report List

Current Status and Characteristics of Violent Juvenile Crime

Aggressive Driving and Road Rage in Korea

Measures to Improve the Utilization of Police 'Crime Statistics'

Research on Serial Felony(ⅰ) -Serial Arson(ⅰ)-

Criminal Justice Policies and Judicial Systems (V) -Evaluation on Civil Participation in Criminal Trials-

Crime Against Person With Disabilities: Current Status and Countermeasuress

Korean National Crime Victim Survey 2016

School Violence Prevention in Seoul through Environmental Design Program

Korean Crime Victim Survey in 2014

Korean National Crime Victim Survey (Ⅳ) -Comparative Study on Victim Investigation Theologies / Methods-

Korean National Crime Victim Survey (Ⅳ) -2014 Survey on Living Conditions of and Social Support for Crime Victims-

Kyoungchan Kim

Transnational Organized Crime, Criminal Law&Policy

Research Fellow

Kyoungchan Kim's picture

Research Interest (Major)

Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure, Chinese Law, Swedish Law

Education/Professional Experience

2011 Korea University, Ph.D.

2005 Korea University, Master of Laws

1997 Korea University, Bachelor of Laws

2018 Visiting Scholar, The Scandinavian Institute for Policy Studies, Sweden

2017 Guest Researcher, The Research Center on International Cooperation Reagarding Persons Sought for Corruption and Asset Recovery in G20 Member State, China.

2011 Research Professor, Institute of Legal Studies, Kangwon University. Korea

2009 Advanced Training in Law School of Ji-Lin University. China

2008 Lecturer, Law school of Korea University. Korea

2005 Lecturer, Law school of Catholic University of Korea. Korea

Report List

China's Judicial Reform and its Implications

Comparative Study on Korea and China's Judicial Policy Response to Crimes of Counterfeit Medicines

North Korean Criminal Law

China's Secret Trade Infringement Cases and Countermeasures

Comparative Study on Criminal Justice Policy in Korean and China: Anti-Corruption Policy

The Structure, Mechanism, and Trends of Corruption in Korea (Ⅱ)

Examining Involuntary Deportation Policies of Foreign Countries: China, Philippines, and Indonesia

Comprehensive Evaluation of Human Rights Protection Competency of Criminal Justice Agencies (Ⅰ): Focused on the Prosecution and the Police's Human Rights Protection Compentency

Establishing the Human Rights-oriented Criminal Justice System: Focused on the Reinforcement of Procedural Guarantees for Foreigners

Comprehensive Policy for Developing Scientific Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science(Ⅱ)

Annual Report on UN Activities & International Cooperation 2013

Aggressive Driving and Road Rage in Korea

Trend and Countermeasures of Drug-Related Crimes and Voice Phisings among Koreans in Northeast China

Jihyun Kang

Jihyun Kang's picture

Report List

Korean Institute of Criminology Official Video - image

Korean Institute of Criminology Official Video

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