Road Rage

Driving in traffic, long commutes and aggressive drivers can be frustrating on the road, but it becomes road rage when stress and frustration turn into violent anger.

Road rage can include rude gestures, verbal insults, driving unsafely on purpose, making threats and even harming someone else in a confrontation. Know the signs from you and other drivers to prevent dangerous driving, accidents and unwanted confrontations.

Signs that you may be experiencing road rage:

  • Thought of condemnation or violence toward another driver or drivers
  • Not obeying traffic laws because you don’t agree with them
  • Verbally condemning other drivers
  • Engaging in aggressive driving, including:
    • Following too close
    • Speeding
    • Changing lanes quickly and often
    • Cutting between vehicles when changing lanes
    • Flashing lights
    • Making gestures

They may not be behaviors you would like to admit, but these are all signs of road rage. If you see other drivers with this behavior, the smartest thing to do is back off. It’s usually not personal, but could escalate if the person is angry.

Causes of Road Rage

It’s obvious that frustration and stress are both the beginning factors of road rage, but road rage happens when drivers feel they have been insulted by others on the road. Other common causes of road rage are:

  • Slow drivers
  • Tailgating
  • Sitting in the middle lane
  • Getting cut off
  • Lack of politeness
  • Pedestrians and cyclists

Avoid Aggressive Driving

To avoid road rage while on the road, take some precautions and prepare for unexpected scenarios on the road.

  • Stay calm and avoid anger on the road
  • Don’t tell or make obscene gestures
  • Always signal when changing lanes and use your horn sparingly
  • Don’t drive too closely to other drivers
  • Don’t compete on the road
  • Don’t take other drivers’ actions personally
  • Plan ahead for your trips so you have plenty of time to reach your destination

To avoid other drivers’ aggression on the road, follow these steps:

  • Don’t react to another driver’s aggression and avoid eye contact
  • Don’t be tempted to fight-- stay calm
  • Lock your doors
  • If confronted, go to the nearest police station if you feel threatened
  • In congested areas, leave enough room to pull out behind cars you are following