Young Woman With Road Rage

The Cause and Effect of Road Rage

Road rage is something many drivers experience at some point in their lives. Road rage is defined as aggressive driving that may be the result of a disagreement or negative encounter with other drivers. The driver presenting with road rage will typically become very angry and lose their temper, and this behavior can result in a car accident or other type of traffic incident.

Causes of Road Rage

Many components can factor in when determining the cause of road rage. The following are just a few of the more common causes:

  • Heavy traffic: people may lose their patience when they find themselves stuck in heavy traffic; especially if they are already late getting to their destination.
  • Feelings of Stress and Anxiety: higher levels of stress can also manifest into road rage because these elevated levels may cause a shorter circuit for many drivers which can result in becoming angry and aggressive fairly quickly.
  • Construction Delays: on top of traffic, there may be construction delays causing even more traffic which causes the driver to become stressed and upset and argumentative.
  • Distracted Driving: having to hear the loud music of other vehicles, slow drivers going below the speed limit, and people following you too closely can also result in road rage.

Habitual road rage is a learned behavior meaning that the drivers exhibiting this type of road rage, learned it previously from someone else. The other type of road rage is known as situational road rage and is typically isolated. For example, the driver may be having a bad day or may have just received unwelcome news. The result of receiving the bad news may be the driver exhibiting signs of road rage.

Signs of Road Rage

People driving with road rage may use obscene gestures and tailgate other drivers that may be driving too slowly or following too closely. Road rage may also result in erratic lane changes, speeding, and careless driving along with excessive horn honking and headlight flashing.

The Effects of Road Rage

Road rage can effectively result in some type of physical altercation with other drivers or an accident. Consequently, these events can also lead to death or injury or damage to property.

Avoiding Road Rage

It is never good to use driving as a way to vent your emotions or expel some of the anger and frustration you are feeling. Doing so will put your safety as well as the safety of others at risk. It has been said that an average of 1500 people are killed as a result of road rage each year.

If you are found guilty of aggressive driving, you may encounter large monetary fines, temporary imprisonment or even a combination of both. You may also be required to attend anger management courses and receive psychiatric attention if the aggressive driving is extreme. Additionally, these punishments become far worse if the aggressive driving resulted in a death or injury. You could face charges of manslaughter or wounding with intent.

To protect against becoming an aggressive driver and exhibiting road rage behavior, you should always plan ahead and set aside enough time to get where you need to be, eliminate any distractions, obey the speed limit, and find alternate routes if you know there will be construction or delays.

About the Author

Leave a Reply