What has been your driving experience lately? Does the person who drives with you get upset about how you respond to other drivers?
According to Wikipedia, the term road rage originated in the United States in 1987 when a rash of freeway shootings occurred on several freeways in Los Angeles, California.
Wikipedia says: “Road rage is defined as an aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other road vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions that result in injuries and even deaths.”
Road rage is a growing phenomenon. I believe this is happening for several reasons. For one, the more technologically advanced we become as a society, the further we get from doing our own inner work. We are taking less and less time to be quiet, reflect, and center ourselves. Between our busy schedules and electronics, people are connecting more with their gadgets and less with themselves and others.
The result of having less quiet, reflective time results in higher levels of stress and tension which eventually needs an outlet. For many, one outlet is to begin fighting with other drivers from their cars because people think they can get away with giving someone the finger or screaming obscenities.
Another reason road rage is increasing is many people are taking out their frustrations about other situations on other drivers who they perceive are doing something wrong.
Yelling at another driver can be like a salve, providing instant gratification - a feeling of false empowerment in that moment for those who have unresolved issues, low self-esteem or a pattern of feeling victimized. Other situations may be situational, such as a fight with your significant other, a tense job situation, or some other event.
When someone cuts you off in traffic or tail gates you, do you feel like your level of anger is becoming excessive? If you are having trouble controlling your temper when you are driving, listen to Carolyn describe her relief at having her own road rage cleared.
If you're wondering if you are an aggressive driver, take this quiz!