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What Causes Road Rage

Angry person blowing car horn

Road rage has become a common occurrence. Life, in general, is putting many stressors on people, and some people find it challenging to manage their emotions when stress builds up.

Definition of Road Rage

Webster dictionary defines road rage as a motorist that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behaviour.

How to Prevent Road Rage

  • Be a courteous driver
  • If someone is tailgating you, move over when safe to do so
  • Plan your road trip to allow for any delays
  • Be mindful of your driving habits that may be annoying to other drivers
  • Keep yourself calm by listening to music

Is Road Rage a Mental Disorder?

It seems too easy these days to diagnose people and put them into various mental disorder categories. Like most thing, road rage can be thought of on a continuum. I believe most drivers have felt some level of road rage even if they did not act on it. Others may feel road rage to extreme levels and would be considered a danger on the road.

How to Deal with Road Rage

Dealing with road rage requires you to make a conscious effort to control your anger and not to take traffic problems personally. Another person’s behaviour is all about them, not you.

  • Avoid eye contact or arguing with an aggressive driver
  • If you are being pressured by another driver tailgating you, move to the left when safe and let them pass you.
  • Things That Cause Road Rage
  • Don’t drive way below the speed limit when road conditions are right especially where overtaking opportunities are limited. In multi-lane roadways, don’t block the passing lane. In Australia, that’s the right-hand lane.
  • Don’t be tempted to make obscene gestures. Doing this can inflame the situation

Empowered and Powerless Drivers

Empowered drivers master the powerlessness of impatience, resentment, and anger. Impatience, resentment, and anger significantly reduce performance confidence and the ability to cope with stress. The spill-over effect of impatience, resentment, and anger is if it starts in any area, it’s likely to spill into other areas such as at work and home.

Impatience, resentful, and angry drivers make themselves even more powerless by blaming their emotions on things they can’t control, like traffic, the design of the highway, and other drivers. Whenever we focus on what we can’t control, we feel powerless.

Emotions Can be Contagious

If you are near an impatient, resentful, or angry person, you’re likely to become the same. You need to regulate your anger and resentment or be at the mercy of every jerk on the road.

The Danger of Driving Angry

Anger dilates the eyes and makes it difficult to judge distance accurately. Makes the foot heavier on the gas, degrades motor skills and destroys sound judgement.

Powerless drivers live in self-ignorance. Empowered drivers always know their emotional states and physical resources.

Emotional Intelligence and Road Rage Support

Emotional regulation restores the use of motor skills and judgement to optimal levels. With little effort and commitment, anyone can become emotionally intelligent. You can learn more about developing emotional intelligence here.

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