Get access

Driving Under the Influence (of Mass Media): A Four-Year Examination of NASCAR and West Virginia Aggressive-Driving Accidents and Injuries


  • The author thanks Christy Laing and Tiffany White for their assistance with this research.

Guy D. Vitaglione, Department of Psychology, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Montgomery, WV 25136. E-mail:


To assess the impact of televised, competitive, dangerous automobile racing (NASCAR) mass media on viewers' driving behaviors, all automobile accidents and injuries as a result of aggressive driving on file at the West Virginia Division of Highways for the years 2003 through 2006 were subjected to a regression analysis controlling for confounding variables, such as weather and road conditions. While the number of accidents declined on the day of the televised events, the number of accidents and injuries increased 5 days following the events. A priming theory of mass-media influence is discussed.