The Presence of an Authority Figure Will Affect Driving Behavior

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Kristen Lachovicz, Melissa Frick, and Kristina Ludwikowski

The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence and presence that an authority figure has on driving behavior and reduce the chance of negative outcomes from drivers’ bad decisions to improve the well-being and safety of the citizens in the community of Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

Students conducting the survey observed the stopping behavior of multiple drivers at a stop sign with and without an authority figure present. The authority figure was a member of the Carbondale Police Department.

The students hypothesized there would be a significant difference in stopping time depending on whether the authority figure was present or not present.

Pictured left to right:

Kristen Lachovicz will graduate in May 2013 and plans to prepare for the Pennsylvania State Police Academy.

Melissa Frick will graduate from Keystone College in May 2014 to pursue a job in the criminal justice field as a parole officer.

Kristina Ludwikowski will graduate in May 2014 and plans to continue her education at graduate school.