Just like people, even rude drivers come in all shapes and sizes. The same thing goes for the type of cars that they drive. But new research claims that luxury car owners are the most likely to act like a douchebag behind the driver's wheel.

The claim was from a larger study that had looked at the linkage between affluence and altruism. In two of the studies, they focused on observing a driver's behavior at various intersections. Affluence in these cases was determined by the type of car they drove (that the researchers described as a "reliable indicator of a person's social rank and wealth.")

In the first study, observers stood at a four-way stop and noted how often drivers zipped into the intersection before it was their turn to go, and only 12.4 percent did so. For the second study, the observers pretended to be pedestrians entering a crosswalk., with 34.9 percent of the drivers not stopping to let them cross (which is against the law in California). Some of the study's other findings include:
  • Luxury car drivers were most prone to zoom through crosswalks, but every driver of a "beater" car -- indicative of the lowest class level -- followed the law and stopped for pedestrians.
  • Women were more likely to stop for pedestrians than men.
  • All drivers were more likely to stop for a female pedestrian than a male.
  • BMW drivers were the rudest on record.
  • Prius drivers were also fairly rude. (The Prius was considered a status model for the survey, given its standing in Southern California.)
New York Times