Thursday, January 2, 2014

Headlines We Could Have Guessed...

Yankeefried sent in this story which really should surprise no one...

The Rich Drive Differently, a Study Suggests
Jokes about BMW drivers being, on average, somewhat less than courteous are fairly common. They often run along the lines of, “Despite its good brakes, a BMW will usually stop with a jerk.” Sometimes the language is more colorful.

Now scientific research supports the unwritten and broadly circulated theory that people in BMWs are lacking in road manners. Paul K. Piff, a researcher at the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, has conducted a study linking bad driving habits with wealth.
I'm partial to "What's the difference between a BMW and a porcupine? With the porcupine, the pricks are on the outside" (thank you, thank you, I'll be here all the week), but this story is hardly news; anyone that's ever driven anywhere has seen some version of this. The shiny Lexus that expects you to stop to let them into traffic; the Mercedes that's 18mm off your rear bumper because their time is far more valuable than yours; the Cadillac weaving in and out of traffic, seemingly oblivious to anyone else on the road.

I'm sure the real cause is far more banal; the folks that buy the high-end cars tend to be in high-pressure jobs and are more likely far more distracted than the average driver. I doubt it's anything as nefarious as the article would like us to infer; although it does tend to pose a bit of chicken-and-egg head-scratcher:

Are these people driving like idiots because they have fancy cars, or do they have fancy cars because they're self-absorbed imbeciles?

That is all.


Sailorcurt said...

"Are these people driving like idiots because they have fancy cars, or do they have fancy cars because they're self-absorbed imbeciles?"

I pick B.

Self-absorbed, self-important, narcissistic jackwads is more like it.

notDilbert said...

That's one of the most highly flawed "Studies" I've seen recently. .... and Tmes headline writer certainly must have observed that in NYC, the wealthy 5th Ave old money people are all have drivers ( and not in mere BMW's), but then the NYT has a long history of promoting an anti car bias.

OTOH I've met a number of arrogant jerks who manage to scrape together enough $ to lease a BMW. Those are the guys that drive like the stereotype suggests. But the common thread is that they are actually NOT wealthy. They are typically hopelessly underwater and still spending money like sailors on leave.

Phssthpok said...

I can attest from first hand experience that a bondo'd, and primered 1972 Road runner, with a BARELY muffled, highly modified 383 has an IMMEDIATE effect on the driving manners of 'those people' in their high-end cars.

You can almost watch it happen..." You won't hit *me*" they say while looking past their nose, "I'm driving a brand new BM-OH SHIT!"

They avoid you like the plague.

Anonymous said...

A) Would you trust a gun study out of Berkeley? This is a prof from BERKELEY trying to link bad driving with WEALTH. Are your BS detectors on the fritz?

B) Do you recognize your anti-BMW bigotry as analogous to anti-gun bigotry?

Ya know; nobody hates the guy in the Rolls Royce. That's just some anonymous lucky rich guy... But the guy in the BMW, well, he's your friend. He's Your neighbor. He's your co-worker... But you're worried he's doing just that _tiny_ _bit_ _better_ every other Friday.

There's a reason envy is one of the seven deadly sins.

ASM826 said...

Phssthpok has it right. For about 10 years I drove a primer and rust colored 1976 Ford F250. Fancy cars, no matter how entitled the drivers, rolled over and showed their throats.

Jay G said...


That was one of the things I loved about my Caddy. 1983 Coupe de Ville, it was about 35 feet long and just dinged enough that it gave off the "doesn't care" aura.


It has jack-all to do with envy and everything to do with "don't drive like a horse's ass"...

Jay G said...

And, not for nothing, but the sticker on my Dodge is more than a good number of BMWs...

Eck! said...

My experience was with a F250 4wd
with 16" split rims, in 1972 that was a BIG truck and when the FORD
on the grill shrank OR in the window people started to get mighty civil in their driving.

I have a thing for BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and large fancy SUV drivers as they consistently drive like they have special privileges.

Seems they all roll belly up in the presence of even a small Tacoma.


Sailorcurt said...

"Do you recognize your anti-BMW bigotry as analogous to anti-gun bigotry?"

Has nothing to do with bigotry, or envy. I could afford to lease a BMW or Lexus if I had a mind to. I have no desire to...and I have absolutely nothing against the cars. Some of them are down right mechanical works of art. I'd consider it if I was in the market for artwork rather than just a practical manner of hauling my overweight redneck butt (plus accessories) around the countryside.

What I have something against is the attitude that some (probably even a minority, when you get down to it, but those are the ones you remember) of the drivers of those vehicles exhibit.

Personally, I'd surmise that it has less to do with how much wealth they currently have, and more with how little work they had to do to attain it.

In my experience, people who are "privileged" from birth, based on the efforts of their forebears; who's current situation has more to do with that "head start" than their own efforts, tend to be the ones the most affected by self-importance and narcissism.

The people who made their own fortunes on their own hard work tend to be much less prone to such behaviors.

But that's just my opinion, not based on any "scientific study" or even a google search, so take it for what it's worth...or not worth.

At any rate, I (and I think Jay fits this category too) rail against anyone who drives like they think they're the most important person in the world, whether they're driving a Bentley or a Yugo is irrelevant...that just happened to be the subject of the linked story.

Roy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roy said...

Well, Bentleys and Yugos are somewhat rare nowadays.

Regardless, in my experience, idiotic driving has nothing to do with the type or cost of vehicle driven. Indeed, in my neck of the woods there are just as many idiots driving Earthf**kers and high-rise pickups as there are idiots driving BMW's and Volvo's. I have had more minivans cut me off in traffic than Mercedes or Escalades.

Idiocy is an equal opportunity phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

The self absorbed will drive what they will drive.

That we notice the indicators of self absorbment (like the "premium" brands of Lexus, BMW, and Cadilac) or cell phone in one ear, cafe fru-fru drink in the other soccer moms trying to kill us.

Or the guy Saturday night that my girlfriend had to talk me out of following home and beating to death with a tire iron. Lincoln Navigator. I member him.

Joseph in IL