An interesting article appeared in PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, last year: “Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior.” Thank you to Xenophilius for posting a link to this. Basically, the paper reports the behavior of motorists based on the ‘status level’ of the car they drive. “[W]e used observers’ codes of vehicle status (make, age, and appearance) to index drivers’ social class.” Unfortunately, this is all that was said in the article and its supplementary material about how ‘vehicle status’ was calculated.
I can’t say that the results of this study are surprising, but it does provide some support for the feeling that people in ‘rich’ cars act more callously towards people than those who drive more common vehicles. The data presented here shows the likelihood of a car yielding to a pedestrian at a crosswalk (something mandated by California State Law.
I have always remained convinced that BMWs are the only cars on the road where blinkers come as optional equipment.