How Does Road Rage Affect Your Driving Skills and Judgment

By Last Updated: November 11th, 2022Categories: Daily, Mental Health

“How does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment?”

Everyone who’s been driving on highways and through the hustle and bustle of busy intersections has experienced road rage at least once in a while. If you’re also a driver, it’s either you’re the one getting yelled at and honked at or you’re the one having road rage.

Either way, it’s important that you know whether or not road rage affects your driving skills and judgment. Your mental state on the road is a big factor to consider if you want to avoid accidents and conflicts with fellow drivers.

So, stay tuned and read this article. We will discuss how road rage can affect you and what you can do when it happens.

Part 1: What’s Road Rage

In case you are not sure what road rage really means, it is defined as a surge of negative feelings that can make drivers extremely angry toward others on the road. When not controlled, road rage can result in terrible accidents, which can endanger the person having it and the people around them.

Road Rage

According to recent statistics, at least 8 out of 10 drivers experience road rage. The majority of them got into accidents. The worst part is that a percentage of conflicts due to road rage involves the use of weapons and firearms. This led to life-threatening aggressions.

Usual Forms of Road Rage

Road rage has many faces and forms. It’s important that you know them so you’d know whether you or someone is having it.

  • Honking
  • Tailgating
  • Shouting or yelling
  • Ramming on purpose
  • Blocking other vehicles intentionally
  • Chasing the driver they’re in conflict with
  • Confronting the other driver angrily, causing a scene
  • Speeding out of anger and frustration
  • Ignoring traffic signs after a conflict

There are more indications of road rage that you can observe whenever you or another driver can’t control their emotions. Awareness is the key if you want to start controlling it.

Part 2: What Are The Causes and Triggers of Road Rage

Apart from knowing what road rage is and its various forms, it’s crucial that you also know what causes and triggers it. That way, you will be able to control it better.

Crowded Roads due to Heavy Traffic

Any driver who wants to get to somewhere ASAP can be annoyed, especially if the traffic is slow and there’s no shortcut. The frustration of waiting in the middle of heavy traffic can make someone get angry easily. This is particularly true if the person lacks patience.

Hot Weather

Besides the traffic, the temperature can also contribute to getting easily angry on the road. The slightest of mistakes or trouble caused by fellow drivers can make one’s head hot even more.

Heavy Traffic

Accidents

When someone hits your car accidentally and plays an innocent card on you, it can surely anger you to the bones. This is especially the case if the other party doesn’t want to settle or pay for the damages.

Being Anonymous

If someone has anger-management issues and they run into some misunderstanding on the road, anonymity can give them more confidence to be angry. They’d let their road age take over them because they know that no one knows them anyway.

Besides the above triggers, experts also believe that road rage is caused by various factors such as illegal drug use and alcohol abuse. Hormones, anger-management issues, and stress could also contribute to road rage in some instances.

Part 3: How Does Road Rage Affect Your Driving Skills and Judgment

Road rage is a serious matter that must be dealt with, especially if you are a driver. It can practically impede you from thinking things through before you react to certain road incidents that make you uncomfortable.

This is dangerous not only for you but for pedestrians and other drivers on the road. If you are full of rage as you drive, you may not be able to observe road signs and speed limits. You may even accidentally set your foot on the wrong pedals, which may result in hitting someone or hitting the brakes at the wrong moment.

Conflict Road

Yes! No matter how great of a driver you are, once you let road rage get the best of you, your maneuvering skills on the road are useless. It’s either causing a terrible accident or not being able to avoid one.

And for your judgment skills, road rage may make it blurry. You won’t be able to discern what’s right or wrong. You may even misjudge another driver for taunting you on the road or whatnot. This can result in confrontation and conflict with others. The worst-case scenario is when the fighting involves firearms. There have been many who lost their lives on the road because of a lack of judgment and understanding of the whole picture.

Part 4: How to Reduce or Prevent Road Rage

If you’re prone to road rage and you want to prevent it, here are the things you can do to help yourself.

  • Cool down and pull over. In cases where you got into an argument with a fellow driver, don’t drive if you are still angry. Just cool down somewhere and pull over. Just continue driving when you’ve calmed yourself.

  • Watch traffic reports. If heavy traffic annoys you, the best way to get around it is to see the flow of traffic in advance. Choose which route is best for your destination.

  • Avoid tailgating and honking. Not everyone is an excellent, fast driver like you. Sometimes, you may encounter a driver who’s just learning to drive or is old. They usually drive slowly. Don’t attempt to intimidate them, they won’t notice you for the most part and that can trigger your road rage– being ignored. Honking can irritate not only other drivers but you, too.

  • Be understanding. When someone makes non-harmful mistakes on the road, don’t shout at them. If they are having a hard time, it would be nice if you help them out. Ask them if they need assistance. That will rather redirect your frustration and make you feel better

  • Relax and read some jokes. One way to distract yourself from road rage is to pull over and relax by reading road jokes. There are funny road jokes about chickens that you can read to change your mood. So, whoever annoyed you, just take them as chicken.

However, there are cases when your road rage can be a bit too much. We suggest that you go to a mental health specialist in your area. They can provide anger and stress management courses for you.

Part 5: What to Do If Someone Is Venting Their Road Rage on You

Well, there are times that you become the victim of road rage. You know fighting rage with rage won’t solve anything. So, here are the things you should do instead:

  • Just stay calm and not provocative. Even if it’s not your fault, just be humble and avoid conflict at all costs, especially if the person has firearms.

  • Don’t get near the person having road rage. Some people are dangerous and getting near them will trigger their road rage even more.

  • Go to the nearest police outpost. If the road-raging driver has been chasing and harassing you, the best way to stop them is to go to the nearest law enforcers. They can protect you and arrest the road-raging driver.

Final Thoughts

To become a great driver, you must master your emotions and avoid succumbing to road rage as much as possible. You have to be aware of your worst impulses and triggers. You’d get a hold of your driving skills and judgment while on the road. The last thing you’d want to happen is for accidents to happen because of road rage.

FAQs

Intermittent Explosive Disorder has been found by experts to be closely tied to road rage. Other things that may happen with this disorder are temper tantrums, domestic abuse, and destroying properties and objects.

Based on recent reports from APA (American Psychological Association), they found that men, especially those in their teenage years, are more likely to experience road rage. Apart from that, they are also prone to getting involved in accidents.

Women and older men who drive are less likely to get road rage even if conflicts and incidents may arise while driving. Especially older drivers who have more experience on the road, most of them have already mastered how to control their road rage.