Road Rage and Guns and Lott

New Scientist reports:

A survey of 2400 drivers carried out by David Hemenway and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health shows that motorists who carry guns in their cars are far more likely to indulge in road rage – driving aggressively or making obscene gestures – than motorists without guns. Some 23 per cent of gun-toting drivers admitted making rude signs, compared with 16 per cent of those who did not carry guns (Accident Analysis and Prevention, DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2005.12.014).

Not surprisingly, Lott is criticizing the study:

While one regression with a few very basic variables was apparently run (but not shown), no explanation was offered for why such a limited set of control variables were used (e.g., why not trouble with law enforcement, education, income, smoker, race). Trouble with law enforcement (past arrests) would have been obvious

Actually, table 1, which fills an entire page of the paper presents a multivariate regression using all 15 variables including trouble with law enforcement, education, income, smoker and race. And even if he skipped over that page, the results of the multivariate regression are mentioned several times in the text.

Comments

  1. #1 Dr. Free-Ride
    February 5, 2006

    Lott didn’t suggest that anger at the undue burden of all those gun regulations might be the actual cause of their rage?

  2. #2 Chad Orzel
    February 5, 2006

    Lott didn’t suggest that anger at the undue burden of all those gun regulations might be the actual cause of their rage?

    Shhhh!
    Don’t give him ideas…

  3. #3 Dave Munger
    February 5, 2006

    Lott would probably get more mileage out of pointing out that correlation does not equal causation. If we banned guns from cars, the same assholes would still be driving them.

  4. #4 Chris Lightfoot
    February 5, 2006

    “The paper also has some funny results. For example, Liberals are apparently much more likely to engage in road rage than conservatives and the difference is larger than the difference between those who did and did not have a gun at least one time in their car over the last year.”

    What’s this bit about? I can’t find a reference in the paper to a question about the respondents’ registered party or any other political question.

  5. #5 Chris Lightfoot
    February 5, 2006

    Ah, I see — I was looking at their 2002 paper, not the 2005 one to which Lott is referring. D’oh.

  6. #6 Eli Rabett
    February 5, 2006

    But do you think that the reporter challenged Lott? Fact free, care free.

  7. #7 R.D.B.
    February 6, 2006

    Lott’s blog claims that table 1 just shows “the means, or conditional means.” Tim can you put up the paper so that we can show him that he is wrong? Or can you do it yourself?

  8. #8 Tim Lambert
    February 7, 2006

    It doesn’t claim that any more. In fact, he’s now quietly deleted the passage I quote above. Naturally there is no admission of his error.

  9. #9 z
    February 7, 2006

    Soon to be corrected to, “If a survey I conducted is correct, Liberals are apparently much more likely to engage in road rage than conservatives”

  10. #10 z
    February 7, 2006

    How exciting, to be right on the scene, there as another truth is born:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Liberals+are+apparently+much+more+likely+to+engage+in+road+rage%22&num=100&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&filter=0

    Results 1 – 9 of 9 for “Liberals are apparently much more likely to engage in road rage”.

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