Recently, in the online Interweb news,
there was a report of a survey done on workers who drive to work and the
road rage they've experienced. You can find all the news articles here.
They're pretty much identical except for the photo showing either a man
or woman making an angry gesture while driving. I couldn't find the survey, which is
a shame, but here's the original press release from Career Builder.
Check out the first sentence. A new study from CareerBuilder shows workers
may have more than heavy traffic to contend with on their way to work.
Fifty-eight percent of workers who drive to work said they experience road
rage at times while traveling to and from the office, similar to findings
in 2006 when the study was last conducted. I like how the first sentence makes it seem like this
is a new or growing problem. Then the end of the second sentence informs
us that things haven't changed much in six years. Go figure. But the key
verbiage here is "experience road rage". Without seeing the survey
and how the questions were worded, "experience road rage" could
mean being on the giving end, the receiving end, or both. It's not that
clear. Then it states that 9 percent of workers who drive to work have
gotten into a fight with another commuter. I have to question a couple
of things here because that's a lot of fighting going on around town. What
time period are we talking about? Did they get in a fight during the survey
period or any time in the last ten years? What exactly does a fight consist
of in this context? Actual blows? A heated exchange? Flipping the bird? In the gender and age comparisons we're told: Women were more apt to feel road age – 61 percent
compared to 56 percent of men. In terms of age groups, workers ages 25
to 34 were the most likely to experience road at 68 percent while workers
55 and older were the least likely to experience it at 47 percent. This is why I question the use of "experience"
earlier because now they use "feel". Women are more apt to feel
road rage. What does that mean exactly? If you become exasperated at a
driver who swerves from lane to lane in front of you, are you feeling
road rage? (Is that like feeling child rage when your kid quickly reaches
for a glass of milk and knocks it over?) The remainder goes on with the
use of "experience". Next they mention texting. Nearly one-in-four workers (24 percent) who drive
to work reported they have been involved in an accident. While a variety
of factors contribute to accidents, cell phone use can be a culprit. Three-in-ten
workers (30 percent) admitted they have texted while driving to and from
work. Again, what's the time period involved here? One fourth
of all drivers involved in an accident is a lot of accidents. Did the accident(s)
occur during the survey period or some time in the last 10 years? And,
yes, we all know that a variety of factors contribute to accidents, but
without any data to support their position they're going with texting as
a possible major cause. I get that texting distracts a driver, but a better
question for a survey such as this would have been to ask whether they
were involved in an accident while texting. Last of all, the methodology. With a pure
probability sample of 3,892, one could say with a 95 percent probability
that the overall results have a sampling error of +/-1.57 percentage points.
Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.
One could say that if one wanted to, but with the ambiguousness
of this press release one couldn't say for sure what the sampling error
is since what's being presented as the samnple is vague in the first place. There is something you can take from this survey that isn't mentioned. Ride a bike.