It's something every driver dreads but can't avoid completely.
We're all familiar with "road rage", whether through personal experience or through stories heard from people we know. Though first coined in the 1980s following a rash of highway shootings in California, the term "road rage" has taken on a life of its own in describing any kind of aggressive or angry behaviour by a driver towards people in other vehicles. Ranging from rude gestures to dangerous driving practices that are actually life-threatening, road rage can lead to physical confrontations, assault, and even death. Police statistics show 1,200 cases of road rage reported each year across the United States but these are typically the most severe examples which say little about how often it really occurs.
But a new research study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that road rage is far more common than you might think. The study, which is available on the foundation's webpage, presents the results of an 2014 online survey involving 2,705 licensed drivers over the age of 16. According to the survey, 78 percent of participating drivers reported engaging in at least one kind of aggressive driving behaviour in the previous year.
To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.