When Drivers See Red: Car Color Frustrators and Drivers’ Aggressiveness


Correspondence to: Nicolas Guéguen, Université de Bretagne-Sud, DSEG, rue de la loi, 56000 Vannes, France. E-mail: nicolas.gueguen@univ-ubs.fr


Research has found that exposition to red is associated with physiological activation and fighting spirit. A field experiment was conducted to explore whether the color of cars is related to an aggressive response. Drivers waiting at a traffic light were blocked by an experimental car. The color of the car varied (blue, red, green, black, and white). The amount of time that elapsed until the drivers responded by honking their horns or beaming their headlights was the dependent variable. It was found that the red car elicited early aggressive response.