The causes, effects and facts about road rage

Have you ever suffered the trauma of a fellow driver yelling or making offensive gestures while driving recklessly on road? Did you ever lose control over your reactive anger and vent it out to a traffic offender while driving yourself? Incidents like these are becoming more common these days.

Do you ever wonder what causes such extreme behaviour in normally tolerant people? Read on to know more about such incidents and the possible ways to avoid them.

What is road rage?

Road Rage is defined as aggressive behaviour exhibited by motor vehicle drivers on the road. It can be anything from continuous honking, reckless driving, and abusive gestures/words to even violent acts harming others on road.

What are the causes?

Traffic analysts believe that there are various probable causes of road rage incidents. Some of the prominent reasons are:

  • Existing anger issues like a conflict at work or home
  • Ongoing distractions like a hostile conversation over mobile phone while driving
  • Multiple obstacles while on a hurry (e.g. consequent red signals, slow moving vehicle, traffic congestion due to road blocks etc.)
  • On-goers violating common traffic laws that result in direct inconveniences for other drivers (unlawful overtaking, pedestrians crossing the road without proper signal, lane changing without indicator etc.)
  • Continuous or frequently repetitive triggers including alcohol, insomnia, health conditions affecting emotional state etc.

Under all of these circumstances, the root cause mostly lies within the psyche of the person experiencing road rage.

What are the implications?

The most direct effect of road rage is the driver loses control over his or her emotional stability momentarily. They can start with noise pollution by severe honking or even victimising other drivers with verbal or physical abuses. With varying intensity of their feelings, this can get disastrous like car crashes destroying property and lives.

As for the person experiencing the rage, his physical health can also undergo drastic effects like spiking blood-pressure, stress induced cardiac arrests etc.

Even without such lethal repercussions, there’d be legal and financial implications like:

  • Penalty tickets
  • Lawsuits
  • Damages to properties
  • Insurance charges, etc.

Shocking facts about road rage incidents

  • Over 70% of drivers yearly in Australia encounter road rage in form or the other
  • The most common form of road rage is persistent honking (<75%)
  • The most affected demographic experiencing road rage is male drivers of age 23-39years
  • 96% of drivers in car crashes reportedly experienced hostile behaviour on road
  • Over 40% of road rage victims faced loss of confidence in driving after the incidents

Possible remedies

  • Start early for your destination, if you have something important planed ahead
  • Practice anger management techniques like deflection, meditation, music therapy etc.
  • Remember the loved ones waiting for you at home, before doing anything rash
  • Remind yourself that the folks opposite you are also regular people with families

Road rage has become a recurrent nuisance in Australia today. If you can relate to any of the above percentages and are needed to take or respond to legal actions, contact the best traffic lawyers Parramatta.


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