Road Rage: Definition, Causes, Effects & Facts

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  • 0:00 Definition of Road Rage
  • 1:10 Causes of Road Rage
  • 2:10 Effects of Road Rage
  • 2:55 Facts About Road Rage
  • 3:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Janell Blanco
In this lesson, we will explore road rage. The definition and effects of road rage will be discussed, and facts about road rage will be identified. A brief quiz follows.

Definition of Road Rage

As you are driving, you have to slow down on the interstate. There are police cars and you see that the road is partially blocked. You are being rerouted off the interstate and directed to the detour. You see three cars, all of which look like they have been in an accident, and you see a group of teenagers huddled together next to one of the police cars. You feel badly for those involved in the accident. You cannot help but wonder What happened?

The next day, you get your local paper and read about an accident on the interstate. The article states that a driver was mad that another driver was going too slow and started driving erratically. Witnesses to the accident say that the person driving erratically was using obscene gestures and eventually lost control of their car, striking two other vehicles and causing the accident that closed down the interstate.

This type of aggressive driving is known as road rage. Road rage is defined as aggressive driving that arises from disagreements with other drivers. When a driver gets angry or loses their temper from a traffic incident, it is also considered road rage.

Causes of Road Rage

Although the elements that cause road rage can vary, anger is one of the most common causes. Situations that can cause road rage include:

  • Heavy traffic or gridlock
  • Feeling stressed
  • Construction delays or detours
  • Distracted driving
  • Loud music
  • Slow driving
  • Making obscene gestures to other drivers
  • Tailgating, which is deliberately following the driver in front of you too closely
  • Changing lanes too quickly and cutting another driver off
  • Erratic or unsafe lane changes
  • Overusing the car horn
  • Headlight flashing

There are two types of road rage. Habitual road rage is learned behavior, such as drivers who have learned to drive in an aggressive manner. Situational road rage is based on the situation that surrounds the driver, such as the driver receiving bad news and unintentionally driving aggressively.

Effects of Road Rage

There are several effects of road rage. One of the effects of road rage is a physical altercation. The aggressive driver will get out of the vehicle once it has stopped and will physically assault the other driver. Another effect of road rage is an accident. When the driver is being aggressive, they lose sight of safety and often cause traffic accidents.

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