Road rage is a term that describes violent behavior on the road. It can also be described as an extremely aggressive way of driving that is likely to cause accidents or incidence on the road. Road rage includes various driver acts and types of behavior such as Speeding or aggressive acceleration, cutting others, weaving in and out of traffics, sound the vehicle horn, flashing lights excessively, making rude gestures, shouting verbal abuse, hitting another person, throwing objects outside the vehicle.
There are various penalties applied for road rage. However, in reality, road ragers do not receive those strong penalties because in most cases road rage acts cannot be caught. If the police stop a road rager, it is most likely for him to receive a fine for careless driving. In the event of causing an accident, of course, the appropriate penalties are being issued.
Causes of Road Rage
Since road rage has been a problem for many years, it is curious to know what causes it.
In many occasions road rage is caused by pure anger. Even calm and well-behaved people can fall into the road rage trap. If a driver gets irritated by another driver behavior, road rage can follow. Simple events such as not showing gratitude gesture after a driver has been let to pass first through a lane can trigger serious road rage response that is likely to lead to severe consequences for all involved in the situation.
Mental illness called intermittent explosive disorder
Some specialists think that road rage is caused by a mental illness called intermittent explosive disorder. The intermittent explosive disorder leads to uncontrolled explosive outbursts of behaviors such as throwing objects, breaking things, inflicting physical harm, etc. These outbursts are not proportional to the provocation or can happen even without provocation. It is an uncommon disorder, and some specialists even do not classify it as such although it has been used successfully in court to defend specific cases.
Crowded roads which create tension, impatience, and more opportunity for drivers to interact
Immaturity and poor attitude
The anonymous nature of driving which empowers some people because nobody knows who they are
Racial disrespect or prejudice
How to Handle Road Rage
If you find that you have agitated another driver, whether the fault is truly yours or not, do not react or retaliate to the other driver on the road. This will only cause the situation to escalate. Remind yourself that the other driver is just bad at handling stress, avoid eye contact and continue to practice safe driving habits.
Unfortunately, it does not look like this problem is going away anytime soon. All you can do is be a considerate, aware driver that follows the rules of the road. While it may be difficult in the heat of the moment, do not give in to feelings of anger or rage on the road. Think twice before you honk the horn or flip that finger because you never know what may set off the person in the cars around you. Getting home safe is more important than teaching someone a dangerous lesson.