Luxury Car Drivers Correlate with Unethical Driving

Now you can add class warfare to the road rage of your day-to-day commute. In a study examining the behavior of different income classes in ethical situations, drivers of luxury cars in the Bay Area were more likely to cut off other drivers by not yielding at an intersection.

According to AOL News, the seven-part experiment showed that 12% of all drivers at a four-way intersection failed to yield. Of only the luxury car drivers, however, a full 30% failed to yield. In the second random sampling, 35% of all drivers did not yield, and the percentage also grew to 46% of luxury cars.

In another experiment, 35% of drivers cut off a pedestrian. A significantly higher percentage of higher-status cars cut off a pedestrian than did their less fancy counterparts.

The study speculates on why luxury cars and (potentially) higher-income groups correlate with unethical and illegal driving behavior. It proposes that drivers of luxury cars intuitively have a strong correlation with high-income earners. Then the study posits that high-income earners are accustomed to exceptional socio-economic treatment and therefore come to expect exceptional legal treatment.

However there are many possibilities. Namely, not all high-income earners purchase luxury cars. Perhaps there is a selection bias of those who purchase luxury cars rather than those who receive a high income. Secondly, the experiment might be influenced by location or time of day.

Whatever the reason for these Machiavellian Maseratis and Ferarri-consequentialists, it’s doubtful a code of ethics comes free with the owner’s manual.

Sources: AOL News, PNAS


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