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The Cause of Road Rage

Updated on October 22, 2013

Have you ever been involved in a road rage incident that caused you to fear for your life/safety?

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Eight out of 10 drivers surveyed in the AAA Foundation’s annual Traffic Safety culture Index rank aggressive driving as a “serious” or “extremely serious” risk that jeopardizes their safety.

Road Rage

We hear it on the news all the time. We see the footage and we bury those who fell victim to the rage of another person.

4 Causes:

  1. Lack of happiness and control over one's life.

  2. Access to guns without knowledge of conflict resolution skills and anger management skills.

  3. Unhappy people living in a society that pushes movement over enjoyment in life.

  4. Bullies.

Lack of happiness and control over one's life.

Okay so you are stuck in traffic running to a job you hate that doesn't pay enough. You don't get help with child support, your wife/husband left you, and you feel stressed out. The kids were able to get you out in time or perhaps you overslept and now you are rushing to work. Maybe you haven't been hired yet despite numerous attempts and you are financially at your breaking point.

Then you get into your car. This person cuts you off without even signalizing entering your lane and from there you become enraged. What's really eating Gilbert Grape? In your mind you will not take one ounce of disrespect/rudeness from anyone else. This turns into trying to chase someone down in traffic, cutting people off, tail-gating someone to escalate confrontation.

If you have a happy life where you have a great wife/husband, grass is cut, kids are doing well, money is in the bank, you have great friends and life is pretty good then you react differently. When someone cuts you off you think (and say), what a jerk and move on. Why? Because you have a reserve of okay in the bank that knows this person cutting you off is not worth you dying, getting arrested, or loosing your job because you can't control your anger. Besides you have happy and joy at home to look forward to in this situation.

Access to guns without knowledge of conflict resolution skills and anger management skills.

Gun control laws and debates continue while the body count increases. No one wants to make anger management a required course to obtain a gun and/or a permit. People need to learn how to deescalate conflict and how to control one's temper. A gun should be purchased with the desire to defend oneself and your loved ones. A gun should never be purchased as a license to kill and pursue others to cause harm and kill. Anger management and conflict resolution classes should be required providing techniques such as breathing, counting the cost of your actions, and exploring ways that minimize conflict.

Unhappy people living in a society that pushes movement over enjoyment in life.

We live in a society that pushes people to the limit. We have no time to enjoy our children, take care of our elderly, or stop to smell the roses. If you research happiness, you won't find too many places listed in the United States. We don't have time to be happy because we are running from job to job, shoveling the kids here and there, and we chase the American Dream of achievement at the cost of having time to smell the roses. My point is not to criticize the operating spirit of the United States but something is wrong with our society. The fact that people are forced to go online to date because no one has time to interact the old-fashioned way. People don't know their kids because there's no time for road trips where families are forced to back away from the television, talk, and entertain one another. Children who have parents that spend more time at work to have a bigger house that they never enjoy while the children are psychologically neglected all in the name of progress so you can drive the best s.u.v. Run, run, run: text instead of hold a conversation. Our society runs on energizer with fifty million activities required daily.

This type of environment fosters stress and stress can often cause people to react make a mountain out of an ant hill situation. Competition is fueled in the fabric of our society and also plays out when one is driving unfortunately. When you are less stressed you are more comfortable staying in your lane without impeding others or attempting to harm others.


These people need psychotherapy. They are the drivers who lives are all bad and they are there to use the road as their weapon and reason to start problems with other people. Hopefully you have not experienced these people. They are people that purposely cut you off, tail-gate you for no reason, or attempt to follow you hoping to create a problem. They are people with nothing to loose with miserable lives that want to start problems with others. You have encountered them if you suddenly have to merge over into their lane. You put your signal on and slow down to let them pass in order to enter your lane. They slow down when you slow down. You speed up to perhaps get in front of them and they speed up too.

These people are the worst. Their whole aim in life is to cause conflict with others. They are miserable people who are often losers in life who seek to cause problems to others. They may drive alone or in a group of people prepared and desiring to engage in confrontation. They are angry people, full of issues, and want to unload their unhappiness and rage out on others and the freeway give them the perfect opportunity. When encountering these people it is best to let them go. They want to identify a target to victimize and you must be aware of their presence, make sure you do not pass them because in their psychologically scrambled mind they take this as a challenge and they will seek to violently escalate the situation.

When experiencing or encountering road rage I ask you to consider the following questions before responding or engaging in such destructive interaction filled with rage and anger:

  1. What's really bothering me to the point that I'm angry enough to engage with this idiot?

  2. Is it really worth it for me to make my point that I'm faster than them or smarter than them?

  3. What is the cost if this situation gets out of control?

  4. Are you going to let this jerk ruin your day and upset you?

  5. (If this situation threatened your life) Would you be comfortable dying over the actions of someone else that you allowed and engaged in this confrontation?

  6. Do you want to be dead right?

  7. Are you a precious commodity with people who love, care, and need you around?

  8. In the grand scheme of life how important is this moment?

Please be safe while driving and accept a peace and happiness in your life that no one can take from you. Do not engage people with nothing to loose when you have everything to loose. Karma is real. If you really get made then you can ask the universe to give that person what they deserve according to that person's actions in life. Do not attempt to curse someone window to window for you know what they say: Don't argue with fools because from a distance you can't tell who is who. Realize escalating a road rage situation is not worth it. Realize you have more joy in your life this the perpetrator has and reject his invitation to engage in negative activity that can never have a positive result. Always identify if your safety is threatened and be aware of sheriff and police departments you can travel to if the person presents a threat or harm to you.


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