Road rage is defined as an aggressive or violent behavior, that stems from a driver’s uncontrolled attitude towards the actions of another motorist. Road rage escalates from aggressive driving, also known as a series of illegal driving actions resulting from angry or stressed emotions during the operation of a vehicle. Aggressive driving is the following: tailgating, verbally or mentally cursing other drivers, cutting others off, brake checking, not using turn signals, speeding, honking, flashing your headlights. Anyone experiencing one of these actions will typically respond with an aggressive behavior, inevitably edging closer to a road rage incident. Whether in a car or a motorcycle road rage puts everyone on the road in danger. Find out if you have road rage!
Majority of the people who have experienced the operation of a motor vehicle have witnessed road rage whether first hand, seen on TV shows or played in video games like the Simpsons road rage. Everyone is susceptible to the psychology behind the aggressive driving mindset. Dr. Leon James, professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii, believes there is a predisposition to road rage is cultivating from early as childhood.
“Drivers grow up being socialized into a highway of hostility rather than mutual support and peace; The back seat of the car is what I call road rage nursery. From childhood in the car and from watching television, we are prepared for competitive hard-nosed driving. The culture of road rage has deep roots. We inherit aggressive and dangerous driving patterns as children, watching our parents and other adults behind the wheel, and by watching and absorbing bad driving behaviors depicted in movies and television commercials.”
This aggressive driving has proven to reveal itself in all 50 states, but majority of the States do not have specific laws that target drivers with road rage. The U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website explains why aggressive driving is a traffic offense, and why it classifies road rage is a criminal offense! NHTSA defines aggressive driving as occurring when an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses that endangers other persons or property. Road rage is an assault with a motor vehicle by the operator or passenger(s) of another motor vehicle or an assault precipitated by an incident that occurred on a roadway. Any unexpected situation on the road could spike aggression and rage. There are ways to avoid road irritation turn to full blown road rage.
The best way to prevent road rage is too immediately make a loud funny noise or spontaneously burst-into singing in a loud voice are ways drivers can distract themselves from feelings of road rage. Another proven effort is to take a few seconds and start talking to yourself. By giving yourself all the rational reasons for not doing anything and to just forget the situation counting yourself lucky. Convince yourself your more of a human if you forgive/forget and live to get to your destination without a side stop at the hospital or police station. By setting up the proper education for the younger passengers will help alleviate the problem. Avoidance techniques and proper education should work to help most drivers avoid road rage, but there will always be people who let their emotions get the better of them, which can be a real danger to the other drivers. See our blog sections to learn more about beating road rage!