People that make up society are variable in nature, meaning that each and every one of us has different personalities, interests, opinions, beliefs (e.g. political or religious) etc (all risk factors for a perpetrator). We are all of different age, race, ethnicity, shape and size. We are all at different mental states while driving and individual attributes of impulsivity, mood, frustration and propensity to take risk are risk factors as well for vehicular violence (Rothe, 2008). There are many mental states and characteristics to examine for an individual to understand the risk factors for vehicular violence.
Examples of Risk Factors within 'The Person'
Social stress (also referred to as "emotional stress") results in the overloading of stress that one is able to handle or control. Social stress risk factors include unemployment, financial worries, divorce and other situations, which can cause increases in adverse health and mental well-being. This can lead to an increase risk in engaging in an act of vehicular violence. It is known that degradation in driving performance occurs under emotional influences such as anger and stress (Kass, Cole, & Legan, 2008; Selzer, Rogers, & Kern, 1968). Under such mental pressure, the risk of road rage or aggressive forms of driving is increased.
The use of alcohol to suppress stress leads to another danger, drinking and driving. It is well understood the inability to perform a driving task safely while impaired, but the prevalence is still high on the roads. Fatalities on the roadway have been shockingly steady for the last 3 decades hovering around 40,000 (NHTSA, 2010) with alcohol being involved in 30-34% of the crashes for the last 15 years. A risk factor that is currently being argued is the availability or access to alcohol. This factor increases the use, and thereby increases the chances of violence, either traffic-related of not. Government statutes and policies such as the deregulation of liquor sales in some places may be a "contributing factor to people taking less social responsibility for their behavior" (Rothe, 2008).