A story has been rolling around the media this week about a University of Colorado research study linking bumper stickers (and window signs and bobbleheads and other decorative gewgaws, collectively called "territory markers") to dangerous driving behavior.
Drivers who put stickers on their cars, the study says, are more likely to drive aggressively, lose their temper, and/or succumb to "road rage". The more stickers they put on their cars, the more likely they are to behave badly, and the worse they behave when they do lose it.
And it does not matter what the stickers actually say. Left or right, secular or religious, "honor student" or "I spayed my dog" all indicate that the drivers feel more possessive of the "personal space" surrounding their vehicles.
My own theory is that the more bumper stickers the driver puts on his car, the more likely the aggregate message will be politically liberal. Here in the city of Atlanta, of course, most voters are Democrats, therefore most bumper stickers are for liberal causes, so anecdotal evidence would seem to confirm the theory--
But it would be unwise to take that as anything resembling proof.
Still, when I see this car--
Well, I drive cautiously until he's out of sight.