Psychologist Says Driving Is a Team Sport

When James testified before a congressional subcommittee in 1997, he proposed a radical solution to the rising tempers of American drivers -- Quality Driving Circles, or QDCs.

"These are small groups of drivers that regularly meet, maybe once every two weeks," he explained. "They help each other do these A-W-Ns -- driving self-improvement programs."

James says that by working in a group drivers find the motivation to complete the program and make serious improvements.

James also says he'd like to see the program mandated as a requirement to renew one's driver's license.

He said he doesn't think licenses should be renewed unless drivers "show evidence that they participated in driving self-improvement activities."

Getting Worse

Driving psychology isn't really on the radar in the pursuit of mental wellness, James says. There isn't a great deal of therapy available to help drivers develop and maintain a healthy driving persona.

As a result of the lack of therapy and self-awareness, James says, we're getting worse.

"Right now we're breeding the next generation of road ragers and aggressive drivers," he said. "Every generation inherits all of the prior generation's norms and behaviors and adds their own."

Because of this downward spiral and James' belief driving is possibly the most dangerous activity people participate in every day, he says something must be done.

"You have a cultural norm of aggressive driving that is increasing with every generation because it gets projected more and more," he said. "We just have to remember that the way we drive affects everybody."

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