Lee Jae Won/Reuters

A new study puts a number to wealthy people's obnoxious driving. 

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have discovered that people in high-end cars are more likely to pull some of the most irritating driving maneuvers on the road and generally behave like jerks.

The man behind the research is Paul K. Piff, a social scientist at the school's Institute of Personality and Social Research. Piff and his team studied how drivers react to pedestrians, as well as how they behave at a multi-stop intersection. Their study was subsequently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

"In their observation of 274 cars, the researchers found that the more expensive ones were more likely to jump their turns in the four-way rotation" reported The New York Times. Piff told the paper:

[Y]ou see this huge boost in a driver’s likelihood to commit infractions in more expensive cars ... In our crosswalk study, none of the cars in the beater-car category drove through the crosswalk. They always stopped for pedestrian.

So what's this teach us about rich people besides the fact that they don't wait their turn or really respect pedestrians? Piff's car study is part of a bigger project on inequality in this country. The Berkeley researcher has also found that rich people are more likely to cheatdeceive, and even take candy from children. In other words, The Simpsons's Mr. Burns was a pretty accurate depiction of wealth, after all.

This article originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  2. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  3. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  4. Design

    Before Paris’s Modern-Day Studios, There Were Chambres de Bonne

    Tiny upper-floor “maids’ rooms” have helped drive down local assumptions about exactly how small a livable home can be.

  5. photo: NYC subway
    Transportation

    Behind the Gains in U.S. Public Transit Ridership

    Public transportation systems in the United States gained passengers over the second and third quarters of 2019. But the boost came from two large cities.

×