Road Rage

Definition of Road Rage

The study “Controlling Road Rage: A Literature Review and Pilot Study” defines road rage as “an incident in which an angry or impatient motorist or passenger intentionally injures or kills another motorist, passenger or pedestrian, or attempt or threatens to injure or kill another motorist, passenger or pedestrian.”

Another definition of road rage says it simply “a physical assault from a traffic dispute.”

Reasons for Road Rage

Although road rage is not a new phenomenon, there is ample reason to believe it is increasing and may continue to increase in the future.

  • Traffic congestion is getting worse. Since 1987, the number of miles or roads has increased by 1% while miles driven has increased by approximately 35%.
  • Research has found that commuters in larger cities average over 40 hours a year in traffic jams.
  • There has been a significant increase in women in the workforce, and thus, driving a motor vehicle to and from work. From 1969-1990, the number of women licensed to drive increased 84%.
  • There are simply more vehicles on the road. In the past decade, the number of motor vehicles grew 17%, while the population only increased by 10%.

Road Rage – When Does it Occur?

  • Survey results indicate that road rage is most likely to occur on a Friday afternoon. It is during the afternoon peak traffic hours that drivers are most apt to be both fatigued and rushed.
  • Road rage incidents occur most frequently during the summer months.
  • Urban areas are the most frequently reported locations for road rage incidents.
    Road rage happens most frequently in moderately congested traffic, perhaps because heavily congested traffic conditions lower driver’s expectations.

Avoiding Road Rage

  • Avoid cutting other drivers off in traffic.
  • Don’t tailgate – Allow at least a two-second space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you.
  • Signal several hundred feet before you change lanes or make a turn.
  • Avoid making any gestures or eye contact with another driver.
  • Be courteous in the use of high-beam headlights.
  • Don’t flash your lights or blow your horn as a signal of your desire to pass another vehicle.
  • Forget winning and allow yourself ample time for your trip.
  • Obey speed limits.
  • Drive in the right or middle lanes; pass on the left.
  • Stop at stop signs and red lights; don’t run yellow lights.
  • Don’t block intersections.
  • Put yourself in the other driver’s shoes. Don’t take other drivers actions personally.
  • If someone follows you after an on-the-road encounter, drive to public place or to the nearest police station.

Report any aggressive driving incidents to the police immediately.