Study Links Bad-Driver Behavior to Wealth

Prius drivers received low marks for road courtesy.

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    FILE PHOTO: A man drives his antique car during an auto show of rare and luxury vehicles on September 18, 2011 in Westport, Connecticut. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images).

    Bad driving habits -- no signals, speeding, and other discourteous acts on the road -- might be linked to a more-positive personal trait:

    Wealth.

    A researcher at the University of California, Berkeley has unearthed a link between bad driving habits and drivers with big money, according to reports.

    It turns out that the pricier a car, the more likely the car's driver is to cut in front of another driver when it's not that driver's turn at a four-way intersection, according to the New York Times's Wheels blog.

    And in a study examining how drivers react to waiting to a pedestrian to cross a crosswalk, drivers with less-expensive cars turned out to be most patient.

    "BMW drivers," according to researcher Paul K. Piff, "were the worst."

    But there's another nugget of interest to Bay Area drivers: Prius drivers also received low marks.

    "Prius drivers had a higher tendency to commit infractions than most," according to Piff.