Road Rage and the Psychology Behind It

Road rage has been around for ages, but it is becoming an even greater problem. Many experts attribute the issue that is quickly becoming an epidemic to the fast paced nature of our lives in today’s society. Multitasking is everything which is why more and more drivers are focused on their phone or other things while driving. In other words, researchers think that distracted driving has a lot to do with road rage, but also the sheer desire to get where you are going quicker.

Overall, people seem more aggressive, more angry, and more likely to floor it when behind the wheel. Road rage can look like a wide variety of things, ranging from weaving through cars to racing other cars. There are even more severe forms of road rage hitting headlines such as pulling over and having fist fights or even worse, gun fights.

Statistically, road rage is mostly seen out of men, who tend to be more aggressive drivers overall which is why they also have higher auto insurance premiums. But, more and more women are showing aggressive behavior behind the wheel, too, providing evidence for the earlier theory that life is moving faster for everyone. But, men are still more likely to act outwardly, and the majority of fist fights are caused by male drivers.

So, here is some of the psychology behind road rage. Aggressive driving habits is an ailment that affects even people who appear mild tempered in their day-to-day lives which is all the more confusing. But, psychologists have found that one reason people may have road rage is that they feel people are violating their space on the road and they act out in desire of having more control. Others have some type of pent up or hidden anger that goes left unaccounted for in other areas of their life, so they lash out at other drivers on the road.

This behavior is always dangerous when operating a vehicle, but there are a few tell tale signs that you need to resolve your angry feelings that are unleashed while on the road. Experts say that it becomes a major issue when there are consequences. This means any sort of confrontations, so citations from police, arrests, fist fights, accidents, and more. One consequence that can also be brutal is having your license suspended which means court appearances, increased insurance rates, and possibly having to file an SR-22.

Other signs that your road rage is becoming unmanageable is when you let one event ruin your whole day or that it is always the other drivers fault.

There are a few preventative steps you can take if the road rage issue is slowly creeping up on you. Try the stress breathing method when you feel frustration bubbling up inside: inhale for a count of four, hold for count of four and repeat as many times as you need. Another solution is to concentrate on having positive thinking. Both steps are easier said than done, but the first step is realizing it is a problem and at least trying to prevent it.

Another extra motivating factor is if you have kids. Kids’ minds are sponges that observe and replicate your behavior due to lack of any other experience. So, it is crucial that you practice safe and calm driving habits to set a good example.

Road rage is becoming an even bigger issue as evidenced by the increased incidents in the media. So, it is vital to be self aware and prevent personal aggressive driving habits.