What Does Road Rage Mean? | Causes, Risks, & How To Control Road Rage
Do you feel angry when someone cuts in front of you when you’re driving? Or do you feel like yelling at nothing when some random car merges inappropriately in front of you? Driving while angry isn’t common and it can become volatile if not managed properly.
Anger and frustration are common emotions and we all feel them when we’re stuck in traffic but some people take their anger to a different level. Yelling and cursing are also common but when those actions become volatile and hostile, they can cause trouble.
Many studies have shown that half of the drivers experience anger and road rage. Many incidents have also been reported where drivers have pulled a pistol, used fists, and even caused accidents all because of road rage.
Aggressive driving has caused many accidents over the years and many a time, the reason for such incidents is because people were driving while angry.
In this article, read what is road rage, its forms, the potential causes, and how to control road rage.
What Is Road Rage?
Volatile anger caused by incidents and annoyance that occur while driving can be referred to as road rage. Most of the time, road rage can be because the driver believes that the other driver has wronged them some way, and to get “revenge”, they retaliate in some of the other forms of road rage.
In many cases, road rage leads to violence or violent actions. While many of the retaliation happens verbally, more often than not verbal confrontations lead to physical harm and confrontation.
Common Forms Of Road Rage
Everyone is different and so is their anger. While sometimes, a person might only react because they had a bad day at work or are stressed where some people might have underlying anger issues that might cause them to retaliate.
Some of the common forms of road rage can be:
- Yelling or shouting at the other driver
- Continual honking
- Tailgating or following the other driver
- Blocking the way
- Preventing the other driver from changing lanes
- Intentional confrontation with the other driver
- Intentional ramming the other car
- Driving on the sidewalk
Potential Causes Of Road Rage
Driving under the influence of anger can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. Either instance can cause accidents and problems.
More often than not, road rage can be an initial response or reaction to other’s irresponsible actions. It is always difficult to understand what might cause a person to react in a volatile manner but some common causes of road rage can be:
1. Traffic: Being stuck in traffic can be frustrating and, honestly, no one likes to be stuck in traffic after a long day at work. For some people, these smaller inconveniences can cause them to explode with road rage.
2. Distracted driving: Other people driving distracted and irresponsibly can cause you to get distracted too which, in turn, can cause you to feel angry towards them. This anger can also turn into a road rage if not managed in time.
3. Impatience: Impatient Drivers are more prone to drive erratically. They believe that their things are more important than others.
How To Control Road Rage?
Road rage may be common but it is never safe – either for physical health or for mental and emotional health.
Road rage can cause more accidents, true but road rage can also increase the risk to health such as higher stress, anxiety, anger issues, tension, etc. Apart from physical risks, experiencing a high level of stress like this can lead a person to develop chronic stress.
Luckily, there are things you can do to control road rage and the anger it accompanies:
1. Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises can help you release your tension and calm your anger down. Bringing your focus on your breathing can help you focus inward and take your mind away from your angry thoughts.
2. Listen To Soothing Tunes
Driving while angry is never okay, so to be on the safe side, you can listen to some soothing tunes, podcasts, or audiobooks to take your mind off the tension on the road. Music can act as a distraction from annoying drivers and can help your mind stay busy when stuck in traffic.
3. Relaxation Exercises
Relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) can help you release the tension in your muscles and can help you feel relaxed – physically and emotionally – even when sitting in your car.
4. Use Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions
Activities like cognitive-behavioral interventions can also help you distract from your feelings of anger and frustration. With such activities, you can cut your stress levels and feel productive at the same time.
If You’re A Victim Of Road Rage, Here’s What To Do
1. Stay Calm: If you feel like the other driver means you harm, do not engage with them. Instead, stay calm.
2. Be Safe: If the other driver is using maneuvers such as tailgating or attempting to block your way, keep yourself at a safe distance. Again, it is better to stay calm and safe rather than engage.
3. Keep Going: If the other driver is attempting to stop you, do not stop. Keep going as stopping can be taken as a sign of confrontation.
4. Ask For Help: If the driver is still pursuing you, ask for help from your nearest police station. Notifying the authority about an aggressive driver can help you stay safe.
Road rage can be taxing on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Driving while angry is never safe and can cause mental and physical stress.
As I said before, driving under the influence of anger can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. When you don’t drive while drunk why drive when you’re angry?
I hope the above information helped you understand what is road rage, what are the potential causes, and how to control road rage. If you have any questions or concerns, you can write to us at email@example.com or follow us on social media.