In West Virginia, fans sure do love their NASCAR races. In fact, that state boasts the most NASCAR fans per capitia. And five days after a NASCAR race is aired on TV, accidents caused by aggressive driving rise notably.
The Journal of Applied Social Psychology wanted to see if aggressive, crash-filled racing influenced the day-to-day driving habits of West Virginians. And according to the study, it really did. Looking at aggressive-driving accidents from 2003 through 2006 (about 29,000), these types of accidents rose significantly five days after the televised event took place (over 23 accidents recorded versus 19 on other days). Surprisingly, on the day of the race, accidents actually dropped.
As for the five-day lapse, research found that delayed effects are commonly found in studies the media’s effects on behaviour.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]