For most commuters, driving had become a daily occurrence. According to the American Safety Council, approximately fiftysix percent of men and forty four percent of women report of having road rage on a daily basis (Safemotorist. com). Road Rage is defined as anger and aggressive behavior by a driver who is upset by how another person is driving (Merriam-Webster). Most of the time, it is easy to spot out these aggressive drivers by their driving characteristics, but when it comes to the road, these angry drivers can become hard to avoid.
But having the ability to notice the three characteristics of road rage can help, they are anger, anxiety, and impulse (Gaille, 2014). On an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! , Kimmel shares a study with the audience that states: “…. female drivers are more likely to give the finger and they’re more likely to curse while their children are in the car. ” As Kimmel then proceeds to comically have some women interview children on the things they hear their mothers say, he did have a point.
Although women drivers are considered the minority sex when it comes to having road rage, the presence of children in the vehicle, has created tendencies to spike up aggression. It is especially true for both men and women who are under the age of twenty four, whom are driving with small children(). Strickland). The majority of the road rage is from men, especially those men who are under the age of nineteen, because men are more likely to exhibit the three contributions to road rage (Gaille, 2014).
On Wednesday, September 16, a young man intentionally crashed his black Land Rover three times into a blue Subaru Wagon after they cut each other off and were arguing at a light. The man then fled the scene (Calligeros, 2015). Even though the man did flee the scene, both of the men did display the three main exhibitions of road rage. They both displayed anger when they decided to cut one another off on the road until they hit a red light. At the red light, the anxiety of waiting for the light to turn green lead to more anger as the two decided to argue.
The one young man, who had rammed his Land Rover into the other vehicle, displayed impulse by acting out in a violent manor and had exerted his built up tension into the other car out of impulse. These three conditions don’t necessarily have to happen in order or have all three been present, but at least two of the three has to be present in order for road rage to occur. The causes of road rage can be triggered in various forms. However the people who are most likely to offend are known as the common ‘risk taker’ (Dittmann).
These risk takers can range from doing latitudes of multiple things, but the most common factor they do while driving is multitasking. The most common form of multitasking is when the driver, the one who is inclined to road rage, is using a cellular device when driving. When people are either listening to music or taking on the phone, it causes the driver to become withdrawn to the road. When drivers are distracted from the road, especially those ‘risk takers’, they fuel to their own road rage by having to do sudden stops and sharp turns due to the lack of attention to the road.
USA Today reported on an incident that happened last December between three women as they were driving along Interstate 80 in northern California. Delanie Strykul and her friend were driving along the road when they began to notice a car tailgating them and cutting them off. In rage, Delanie began to honk, flip the women off, and screamed out the window; asking if the woman, whom was recklessly driving around them, could ‘pay attention to the road. ‘ The women, Delrdre Orozco, decided at that moment, she was going to pull these women over and claim she was a sheriff and that the two women were going to be arrested. Rossen and Billington).
Delaine and her friend both mutually agreed this was some crazy women’s hoax and sped away. As the girls tried to aimlessly get away, Delrdre failed attempts to stop them only began to fuel to her rage. Out of anger, Delrdre started to push the girls off the road. Delanie’s friend called the cops where they lead Delrdre straight to the Highway Patrol office. The three women proceeded to the patrol office to where Delrdre was arrested for carrying a deadly weapon, reckless driving and resisting arrest. It was later discovered that Delrdre had a past history with reckless driving and road rage induced accidents.
Sometimes, people can be just crazy. But another simple way to point out these reckless drivers, like Delrdre, is by the amount of damage to their car and poor driving. (Rossen and Billington). Road rage can be handled in many forms, from Mom’s cursing up a storm, to young drivers acting impulsively, and to having older, more intolerable adults going dangerously off the charts. Although most of the road rage scenarios given could have been avoided, there are precautions that could be taken in order to avoid them all together.
It’s a simple solution, but often times, especially in the heat of the moment, can be hard to overcome. As a driver at the receding end of road rage, one must face the ability to remain calm. That would entail, no cutting each other off like a game of cat and mouse as the young driver did. Or even arguing/ screaming out like mothers tend to with their small children present. While certainly the need for avoiding gestures, that would tell the other person to bleep off. like Delanie did. All of the factors could potentially stop a bad situation from going to worse.
It’s understandable that it can be difficult to stay level headed in these situations, especially if it’s going from one side of the spectrum to the next. But one thing to take away from this is that the average commuter may get a little dicey in their car every now and then; but these situations provided in this essay were extreme cases. Most people only resort to gestures with a few profanities, as Jimmy Kimmel provided within his skit. But the thing that really is important is that at the end of the day is that the average commuter can come home.