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Road rage: A closer look at why people behave this way

Studies have shown that a whopping 66 % of traffic accidents are caused by road ragers, according to a motoring portal, Carswitch, which, apparently intrigued when on to find out the main culprit behind road raging.

“We encounter road rage every day on the roads: speeding, changing lanes while cutting signals, meandering precariously across three or four lanes, road blocking, not allowing others to change lanes, roaring behind you as if they might hit you, tailgating, persistent honking, flashing sharp lights when you are in “their” lane, screaming from their cars, causing accidents, getting ready to fight and worse off to “beat up” other drivers,” Carswitch said in a posted article.

Indeed, as most everyone would agree, road raging can have serious consequences. In the Philippines, it has been reported countless times that up to 65% of traffic accidents, road injuries and fatalities are caused by road rage.

Need for control

Mental health professionals cite some behaviors like the desire to control and dominate as problematic if left unchecked. “For road ragers, there is an uncontrollable need to stop other drivers from violating their lane. This need for superiority, bloated ego and one “upmanship” on the road makes one a well-rounded road rager,” Carswitch said.

Unchecked anger

Experts said ill-examined anger and aggression that some motorists project onto their driving is the issue. “For the most part, it is hormonally-driven, primitive and primal thinking combined with a lack of emotional intelligence and a dominating need to shun others from their private space,” read the published report.

Overcrowding combined with aggression

Studies have shown that a few rats in a confined place can co-exist peacefully, but add a few more and they will turn on each other. The same can be said of humans, said Carswitch, adding that gridlocks and traffic congestions can be the catalysts for road rage. “Throw in stress, exhaustion and heat from other sources of your life and you have the perfect conditions for road rage.”

Interestingly, the Carswitch said that unfortunately for science, there is no way to measure patience like there is for alcohol.

“There is no minimum amount of patience that one needs to have to be safe for other drivers on the road. Police officials can’t perform a roadside patience test or confiscate someone’s license unless they increase their patience levels,” it said..

The best way to go is don’t retaliate to other drivers on the road regardless of whose fault is it. Practice safe driving tips and be mindful of traffic rules. If you are being tailgated, change your lane. In addition, playing soft music helps with road raging tendencies.

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The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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