Road Rage

Road Rage

Almost all drivers have experienced some occurrence of road rage. Most of these occurrences are as innocent as a rude gesture, but some drivers have lost their lives because of them. “Traffic is a cooperative activity” (2-3-7). When a driver decides to take control of the road, the consequences can again be fatal. Almost every driver on the road has been involved in one incident or another. No one is immune from road rage, therefore it effects us all. Road rage is an act of aggression that can destroy the life of an innocent driver, but current research is helping drivers cope with the stress of everyday life on the road.

Many cases of road rage are caused by simple misunderstandings. Whether it be that a driver was not looking before he turned, or a he forgot that his turn signal was left on, people tend to take things the wrong way. Because of this, the term “road rage” was born. There are thousands of recorded accidents every year as a result from a simple misunderstanding on the road. For example, “an average of at least 1,500 men, women, and children are injured or killed each year in the United States as a result of aggressive driving” (6-3-4). The number 1,500 may seem like a lot, but that statistic was taken from a report back in the mid 1990’s. Today, it is estimated that there were about 84,000 road rage incidents last year alone. That’s exactly 56 times greater than what it was a few years ago. Not all of these incidents involved physical injuries, but they were all recorded as aggressive incidents. Anyone can be at fault in a road rage situation. Race, sex, religion, age, or any other human characteristics, play no role in determining a

common offender. Frequently, accidents of aggressive driving have tended to involve more than a simple rude gesture or a vile word. On many occurrences drivers used weapons to vent their frustration on the road. “Without exaggeration, millions of motorists are armed with fire arms, knives, clubs, and other weapons at any given time” (6-10-32). There are literally over millions people in the United States alone whom own some sort of firearm or firearms. Most cases of a weapon being involved in a road rage accident, the weapon of choice is typically a gun. Sometimes people will get creative with what they choose to defend or attack with. Drivers have used other weaponry such as garbage, 4x4 timbers, crowbars, and missiles. That’s right, missiles. In a few other cases, government tanks and other vehicles were taken out for joyrides. Road rage comes in many different forms and actions. The fact that “road rage” is a U.S. originated word doesn’t limit itself to our country. Incidents around the world have been reported from Asia to Australia.

The cause of road rage is typically a form of stress. Whether it be a stolen parking space or getting cut-off, an aggressive driver can lose their temper and patience from frustration. These occurrences are typically how an incident would begin. In many cases, the driver whom is running out of time is the most common instigator of road rage. When the clock is ticking and the driver is running out of options, they may act in haste to get their way on the road. Sometimes people are in a hurry for money as well. When an aggressive driver is in a rush to pick up a paycheck, or pay their bills on time, some will stop at nothing to do what they have to do. They don’t care who could be put in

harms way as long as they get there when they want to. Other cases start from family problems, school, and simple everyday living. However, most of these occurrences relate back to the matter of time. A driver’s increased stress is only part of the problem. Physiological aspects play a key role when deciphering the problem at hand.

There are many ways to prevent and stop road rage. “Driving instructors say it’s hard to teach good driving when so few practice it” (4-2-5). “In the 1970’s, 90 percent of people took driver’s education courses. Today, our estimate is about 35 percent” (4-2-3). However stressful our lives may be, there