Road Rage in the US – 2014

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Aggressive driving seems to be a thing for a lot of people in the U.S.  According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 78% of U.S. drivers reported having engaged in at least one aggressive driving behavior at least once in the past year.

Road rage has been described as “a constellation of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that occur in response to a perceived unjustified provocation while driving.” Road rage may also be defined as those driving behaviors that endanger or potentially endanger others and are accompanied by intentional acts of aggression toward others, negative emotions while driving, and risk-taking. The most common aggressive-driving behaviors:

  •  purposely tailgating another vehicle,
  • yelling at another driver,
  • honking their horn “to show annoyance or anger”,
  • making an angry gesture at another driver,
  • purposely trying to block another driver from changing lanes
  • cutting off another vehicle on purpose.
According to an article published in the July, 2010 edition of Psychiatry, “Road Rage; What’s Driving It?”, authors Randy Sansone, M.D. and Lori Sansone, M.D. state that the most common offenders of aggressive driving appear to be young and male. They argue that a number of factors may contribute to road rage, including environmental factors (e.g., greater number of miles driven per day, traffic density), nonspecific psychological factors (e.g., displaced aggression, attribution of blame to others), and disorders related to alcohol and substance misuse as well as antisocial personality disorders. Being aware of these contributory factors to road rage may improve general clinical awareness of the nature and treatment of perpetrators.
Read the report here.

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