Road Rage: Who's Guilty?
Road Rage: Who’s Guilty?
Ah, Road Rage. We all catch that illness to some degree at some point in our lives, some, more than others, and if you haven’t experienced it, perhaps you are the one causing and spreading the illness. Why are we so quick to anger on the road? Is it lack of patience, or sheer disgust or offense towards rude and discourteous drivers? What is the psychology behind road rage? Why does it occur in some places more than others? Do you ever wonder?
According to Teen Driving School, "Road rage is a felonious criminal assault of one driver or passenger of a motor vehicle on another driver or passenger of a motor vehicle using either a weapon or the vehicle to inflict serious injury or death. There are approximately 200 road rage fatalities per year."
Of course, some may look at road rage as simpler acts, such as flipping the bird to another driver in passing, who may have rudely cut them off on the road, or perhaps were driving like a senior citizen (no offense) -just too slow, or maybe it embodies tailgating or chasing another driver on the road. When it turns into assault –injury or death, then it has obviously escalated as far as it could go… I guess the latter is foreplay, to the dirty deed… but elements or rudiments of road rage all the same.
I’ll admit, growing up in Texas, where drivers must yield to oncoming traffic, where even signs on the highway state "Drive Friendly", it was a culture shock coming to San Diego, California where you have to get in where you fit in, because turning on a signal light means nothing. You have to drive aggressively out here just to get from one place to another. I learned this the hard way, and will admit, I’ve been chased by other drivers and nearly threatened with assault on numerous occasions, but weaseled my way out one way or another.
My theory of why one region can be so different from another when it comes to road rage is of course, the laws of the road for one. They differ from state to state, do they not? Also, in Texas, in my neck of the woods, we had access roads, which run along the highway, which they don’t have in SD, CA. And what I find common out here is how you can have oncoming traffic at an off ramp. Whose genius idea was it to have people merging on the highway at the same time and same point where people are exiting the highway? Couple that with a city that has heavy military, which means people from all neck of the woods and regions of the world that bring their unique driving skills with them from wherever they are coming from, laws and all, and you have a campaign for disaster. In SD, CA if you are military you do not have to get a driver’s license in state since it’s not exactly your home of record, which means you don’t have to learn San Diego’s driving laws, so what do you do, you drive like you always have based on whatever state’s laws that you come from. Driving in New York is not the same as driving in San Diego, but you aren’t going to drop old habits because you live in a new region, are you? Another theory is traffic and overpopulation… when you have more cars than people in a region you are bound to have issues are you not? Everyday for me, what should be a fifteen minute drive home becomes an hour drive due to traffic, just to give you a good idea.
If you ever wonder if your neck of the woods is inundated with road rage, check out this link: http://www.infoplease.com/world/transportation/us-cities-worst-road-rage.html
According to this link, Miami, Florida is the worst city when it comes to road rage and Portland, Oregon is the most polite. When you think of the reasons why, you consider population, city development versus rural areas, and possibly even the culture of the city. San Diego, CA of course made the list of cities with the worst road rage, unsurprisingly, to me.
Even better, go to the following link: http://www.monkeymeter.com/citystats.php
This link shows the current conditions for each city based on the last 20 user inputs per city, so you can get an immediate idea of just how bad road rage is in your city at any given moment.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of road rage or were you the perpetrator? Clueless? Take the Road Rage test by the Triple "A" Foundation at this link: https://www.aaafoundation.org/node/138/take It is composed of 10 brief questions, multiple choice, and will give you a quick evaluation. My score was 20 out of 40, which makes me average (Whew). However, whether you want to know if there is a divide amongst men and women when it comes to road rage or who is guiltier, I’m lucky to be average, since statistics reveal that women are more prone to road rage. Maybe because we are more emotional, however, this is what statistics revealed:
According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 61% of women compared to 56% of men, reported feeling road rage, amongst 3,900 people surveyed, (Hartman, 2012). Esurance Insurance Services reported the same statistic and gave a reason for this permissible issue: "According to some experts, this gender divide isn’t a random occurrence. Rather, it likely stems from women’s possible subconscious need to break free of society’s expectations … Essentially, they’re saying women might feel forced into a nurturing, non-aggressive role in public. This can result in pent-up frustration — frustration that comes out behind the anonymity of the wheel," (2014).
As a woman, I’d say this is a rather farfetched theory, compared to the notion that maybe women just have little patience for rude or annoying drivers. You be the judge. What do you think? Why would women be more susceptible to road rage than men?
Esurance Insurance Services, Inc. (2014). New Study (Politely) Suggests Women Are More Prone to Road Rage. Retrieved September 10, 2014 from http://blog.esurance.com/women-more-prone-to-road-rage/
Teen Driving School. (n.d.). Road Rage. Retrieved September 10, 2014 from http://www.teendrivingschool.com/USA-PLAN/ROAD-RAGE.htm
Hartman, Rachel. (2012). Does road rage affect women more than men? Retrieved September 10, 2014 from http://www.birchyard.com/2012/10/does-road-rage-affect-women-more-than-men/
Are You Prone to Road Rage?
Did you pass with flying colors, average or above: https://www.aaafoundation.org/node/138/take?
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