I will just explain a little about the type of person I am, normally I am very calm, it takes a lot to wind me up and make me lose my temper. As a child my younger brother was infuriated by the fact that nothing he could do would cause a reaction from me. Generally I will say what I think and walk away, that is until I get into my car...I used to have incidents of road rage on a frequent basis, but I have also been on the recieving end a few times it seems Britain is very angry!
Firstly I will write some of my experiences of being on the recieving end of someones rage;
About 2 months ago, I was driving in the car with my partner and daughter and I was driving down a road with cars parked on the opposite side of the road for about 200 yards. When I approached there was nothing else coming so I continued, however a lady in a 4X4 came flying around the corner and instead of waiting she continued up the road. Of course this meant that we met head on, I stopped the car expecting her to reverse as she had only cleared two cars and there was a space for her to pull into, I had 3 cars queuing behind me and so couldn't reverse besides I thought that as the obstruction was on her side of the road and that she was crossing the white line onto my side of the road I had right of way. However she refused to reverse. I was so angry I turned my engine off and sat there as her and her husband pointed at me and made comments. After around 5 minutes people behind me were beeping, the lady sent her husband out of the car to tell me to 'stop being stupid' and drive my car on the kerb. The red mist descended when this was suggested to me, I will not mount a high kerb and drive along it in case I damage my tyres or alloy wheels and besides there was a lampost in the way. So I continued to sit in the car. By this point my partner was getting annoyed too. There was a huge queue of traffic behind me yet none behind this lady as she had just turned into the road so the rest of the queue were waiting to turn right. It was then that she got out and told me I should be ashamed of myself and I was an effing ****. I told her I thought that she was wrong as she crossed onto my side of the road and had the obstruction her side. She stormed back to the car and eventually reversed, she took forever and clearly couldn't reverse so swapped with her husband who reversed. At this point I let my partner drive as I was shaking in anger. As we passed the car her husband called my partner a c*** my partner slammed the brakes on and opened the window to tell him to behave himself as we had a baby in the car and they had three children in the back of theirs, he took his seatbelt off and opened the door to get out to hit my partner saying he was going to rip his head off. My partner then got out of the car and told him to have a go and not just threaten him through a window. The man being the coward he was shut the door and powered off. I felt quite angry about this as I had tried to remain calm and I did but this man made a complete idiot of himself. Normally I would give a one fingered salute to an idiot like this but I was too stunned by the whole incident.
More recently yesterday I was in Tesco, I drove and my partner went in the store with my daughter who is 6 months to do the shopping, I had a few phone calls to make so I thought I would wait in the car and do it. I parked in a parent and child space as is my right it was pouring with rain and my daughter was with us. I noted that all other parent and child spaces were full. As I sat there I saw a car pull up and indicate into my space. This infuriates me (I don't know why) and makes me want to wait longer! I felt like she was constantly watching me waiting for me to move so she could have my space. Her 'children' incidently were more like teenagers and it does say on the signs they are for parents with children under 5. My partner returned to the car and after putting our daughter in he started loading the shopping. Half of it has to go in the boot (I have a large pushchair) and half of it in the back of the car. He was taking his time putting the heavy stuff in first etc, when this woman wound down her window and said really angrily 'hurry the **** up!' I was really cheesed off by this point and feeling really angry about the fact she had waited for well in excess of 10 minutes gave a one fingered salute. I could see her mouthing away in the car. So when my partner got in the car we sat there eating sandwiches until she got bored and blasted off.
On the other hand I myself have been in a situation where I have perhaps been quite agressive to others;
One instance was where I was driving on a large roundabout in Cardiff. The roundabout has 5 lanes and is linked to the motorway so as you can imagine it is really busy. I was driving happily along singing to my Phil Collins CD when I saw the car in front of me swerve into the left hand lane cutting up another car in the process. The car then swerved back into my lane almost hitting my car and causing me to brake really hard. I was in the car on my own at the time and really angry I beeped the horn and I got a lovely hand gesture from the guilty party. This made me so angry I was gesturing back and when we got to another set of lights and I had to change lanes I could see the lady in her car and she had her window down so feeling really enraged I had to tell her she was a stupid idiot and dangerous. I also gave the finger which in hindsight wasn't a very grown up response but we all know what it is like to be really angry!
The final incident I will mention was when I was coming home from work, I was on a large roundabout in the correct lane minding my own business when a woman started indicating and trying to force her way into my lane. I looked at the driver and shook my head she just smirked at me. There was a gap in front of me about half a cars length and the driver decided to dart in there even though there wasn't enough room. The woman caught the wing of my car and then continued to drive as normal. She must have known she did it and I had to follow her for 5 miles all the time she was indicating to turn and not turning and driving erratically as well as slamming on her brakes maybe in the hope I would hit her. I was fuming and I was shaky and angry I think my driving was probably erratic too. Eventually she pulled into a posh golf club. I pulled alongside her and asked my friend to wait in the car while I asked for her insurance details and checked my car, there was a scratch mark and some of her paint on my wing. The woman driving denied doing it and refused to give her insurance details. I was still reeling about what had happened and the fact I had to follow her the whole way. It turned into a huge argument and by this point I had enough and it started to become personal. The lady walked off into the golf club and told me to get stuffed basically. I then lost it completely and really let rip. In the end I had to ring the police as it was becoming threatening and aggressive. Her insurance company incidently paid out as her paint was on my car.
It was only when I had it pointed out to me I realised what a road rage issue I had.
When people are in their cars I often think they act differently to how they would face to face. It is all to easy to give the finger or shout some four letter swear word as you pass the driver. I have tried to calm down since the first incident with the 4X4 as you never know what type of person you may anger. You hear of people getting badly beaten or even killed. I try to if I get angry just count to ten and breath deeply. I have since become a lot calmer and if someone does something stupid or cuts me up etc I just think to myself what an idiot and let it go. Life is far too short to be angry. There is no real way to avoid road rage inevitably there will always be idiots on the road.
I will admit that I have been both a victim of road rage and also suffered it. I have been driving for 3 years now and I am not a great driver, nor am I a rubbish driver. But I am really proud of my licence, my clean licence, so far, as it was a nightmare getting it!
Victim of road rage -
Ok this only happened yesterday, and I am still furious about the situation. I was driving my boyfiend to go and pick his car up from it's MOT and was coming up to some traffic lights at a junction. There are 4 sets of lights and all of them were out.
In this situation it is a case of courtesy. I believe that no one has right of way here and as long as you take your time and go carefully, you should be able to get through.
I was turning right at these lights and needed to get in the middle of the road to turn. The car in front was turning right as well so I crept up behind him and started to turn. To my right was a white van (sigh) and he was coming towards me. I looked to my left and the cars had stopped to let me through and by the time I turned to the right, the white van man had moved and because of the road works, he had come onto my side of the road so I was sandwiched between the car in front and the white van.
I couldn't move. Instead of waiting, he boxed me in and then reversed nearly crashing into my car. He reversed so he could wind his window down and shout at me. So I was stuck in the middle of the road, and the car in front ended up going on the pavement to escape. There was a huge pile of cars behind him and no one could move because of him.
He swore at me and shouted at me untill my boyfriend said he was going to get his number of the side of the van. He then moved forward and drove off. All the other cars were mad at me as they thought I had held them up and I was left shaking, half with anger and half with the fact I was scared.
This left me shaking so bad that I had to pull the car over and get out. People say that it is young people that are aggresive and intimidating, but this man was really old and he was the one who was in the wrong.
Road Rager -
I am a verbal road rager. I don't get out of my car or wind my window down but I do get really mad at some drivers, especially on a Sunday.
I hate people that don't indicate when they are turning. This really aggravates me on roundabouts. I also get really mad at people that overtake dangerously. There is a road in Blackpool that merges from 2 lanes to 1 and I hate it when drivers push them selves all the way pass the traffic and push in the que.
I also have a huge problem with speeders. They have no road sense and seem to think they can drive how they like. My biggest peeve is sitting in traffic. In the morning, I spend 1 whole hour on the school run waiting in traffic. Where does it all come from? Why is everyone so slow? Generally, it is caused by temporay traffic lights or 'work men' working, or what ever they call it these days!
My son gets mad at me because I tend to shout and get mad. He thinks some of it is funny, but I shouldn't be so mad, it's pointless.
Getting stressed gets you nowhere fast.
After being on the other end of road rage, I will make an effort to not get so stressed out as it can effect the other person or people you are travelling with.
I get terrible road rage. I set off on any journey, long or short, in a great mood, I love driving, I love the fact I can drive, as passing my test was a bit of a mare - but I soon get disgusting road rage, which is equivalent of my PMT, I feel like I could kill someone. I just don't get it. I don't get why people drive and conduct themselves on the roads like they do. Here are some classic examples of why I get annoyed!
1. The other, more angrier, more incensed driver: there is nothing worse than having road rage and running in to someone else who has it 10 times as bad as you do. For example, the other night I was leaving work and there were some temporary traffic lights. The cars in the left hand lane were over taking a van who seemed to be in the traffic, but had no lights on (it was pitch black). In turn they were over taking it then stopping to let other traffic pass on the right hand side of the road. It got to me, and I was sure I saw the van move. So I sat and waited a moment, the cars behind me started beeping like mad, so I indicated and began to take over the van. Within a split second, the door to the van opened and the driver got out and ran at my car shouting 'you stupid f$£%ing bitch, can't you see there are temporary lights and I am waiting in them!' he kicked the front of my car. I was absolutely fuming, I wrote down the registration and called the police. I couldn't see the company name because it was so dark and I didn't dare get out of my car for fear of being hit! I shouted back shouldn't you have your lights on and this made him even madder he just started screaming at me! The police said unless there was damage they couldn't do anything. Wont be that when this horrid man's next victim gets out of the car instead of staying safe! This section also includes old men and women, who could be my lovely grandparents, and probably are to other people who scream and shout at other drivers calling them names I havent ever heard before!
2. The old or just passed minus 10 miles per hour driver: so your driving along at normal speed and all of a sudden, you need to slow down by 10 mph so that you don't go in to the car in front, who is cruising along sub 10 at all times. 60 on the motor way, well that's not too bad, but 20 on a 30 road? Argh! I have to be at xyz place. Why do that to me!
3. The distracted driver: who is either texting, eating, drinking, singing, picking their nose, talking to the passenger, trying to pacify the kids / dog in the back, etc and is consequently swerving all over both lanes and makes you feel nervous. You daren't over take in case they swerve in to you, but you can't stay behind them because they make you too mad!
4. The 'I will just flash you randomly' driver: I am a single woman, driving down the motorway late at night, perhaps going to Scotland to see my partner in the Navy, perhaps going to Manchester on business as I often do; and someone flashes me. It sends me in to an instant panic and then deep rage. I always find the next convenient spot and pull over if someone flashes me, to check my car over. Because I would only flash someone if half their car was hanging off, a light was out, to make them aware they could pull in, or to thank them. So imagine my delight when I pull off a busy motorway and stop to find absolutely nothing wrong with my car! Grr.
5. The 'I will not move I will not let you in' driver: when traffic is merging from a slip road, why do people not pull over to allow it? Your slip lane is going to run out and people are happily just driving along in the lane you need to be in!
6. The brake slamming driver: on a motorway for no reason!
7. The sit in the fast or overtaking lanes below the speed limit driver!
8. The 'I will drive so close you will be intimidated because you're in a Fiesta and I'm in a Porsche' driver: My car goes at 70, that is the speed limit, what are you going to achieve by being able to see the colour and texture of my parcel shelf?
9. The 'I can't be bothered or am too distracted to indicate' driver: Ok, well I will just wait longer because I didn't know you were going right, or I will just slam my brakes on and skid because your moving in to my lane and cutting me up. Get off the roads and learn to drive properly
10. The 'I know this road is a mare to get out of, but I will drive past and not let you out because I am horrid and have no manners' driver. 'Nuff said.
I get so mad, it sometimes makes me cry! Driving is one of my favourite, yet most loathed, pastimes ever.
~ Just another day on the road ~
Driving on the UK's roads is a must for me everyday and road rage is easily found in everyone. I have only been driving for a year and have seen many different types of people's road rages and people who are dangerous on the roads. I myself find that I get angry when people do stupid things on the roads. I do not think it is a good idea to stereotype people on who is a better driver as everyone makes mistakes. I find that I still make mistakes but there is a difference between making small mistakes and being stupid on the road. Just a quick review about my road rage!
~ MY RAGE ~
The one place I get road rage the worst has to be on the motorway. I drive on the M4 from Bath to Swindon almost three times a week to go to Bicester. It is not a bad motorway and I haven't experience any major problems on there yet. The thing about the motorway is that it should be easy and quickly to do. I know many people who have been driving for years who have never driven on the motorway! I think the quicker you do it the better. There are several things that annoy me when driving on here, firstly the lane hoggers. I have always been taught that the slow lane is the main driving lane, the others are for overtaking. Lane hoggers really make me angry, those people who sit in the middle lane for no reason. 'Get the hell over!' it is frustrating and when there is no one in the slow lane you should be in it. It does make it dangerous for other people.
This morning I actually undertook a car to make a point. He was in the middle lane doing 60mph and there was nothing in the slow lane. As the fast lane was busy I went into the slow lane and carried on doing 70mph. He was holding people up and I know you are not allowed to do it, but I had to show him he should not be in that lane unless overtaking.
You can also get people who just drive in the fast lane which is stupid although it looks like they are in a rush, it is dangerous. Sometimes I really hate driving but on the motorway at night is the worst. Recently, the roads have been really bad with the heavy rain and winds. The last few nights the motorway has been bad. You can see hardly anything and I have slowed right down myself. You still get people doing about 90mph in the gale force winds, heavy rain and fog. They have a death wish. If you hit a pot hole or aqua plain at this speed it can be fatal.
As I am a smoker when I get road rage I am able to light up a fag to calm down. Even though this is not the best way to do it, it prevents me from shouting anything. One day whilst on the way back home from work I swear I was invisible. My family believe it's a silver car thing. Four members in the family have silver car's including me and I always feel like no one can see me. That day I had six cars pull in front of me in fifteen miles. I get so angry but always restrain from using the horn. Unlike my boyfriend who gets major road rage and usually beeps and shouts to my amusement, I usually just take a deep breathe and maybe curse to myself.
Another aspect of road rage I get is people who tail gate. I hate it, especially at night it's distracting and dangerous. I usually find myself driving slower just to annoy them even more. There are many things that people do on the road that annoys me and I think some people really should not be allowed to drive. My driving instructor always said to take a deep breath and if you are not completely happy pull over and take a minute to relax. This is evident when people tailgate you. If you find them too distracting then pull over.
- Major Road Rage Provoking's -
~ Pulling out in front of people.
~ Changing lanes without signalling
~ Lane Hogging
~ Full beam left on
~ No observation
~ Careless/slow/fast driving
~ ADVICE ~
I am not an expert myself but there are some right idiots around! When you get into your car you have to be ready for anything. Assume everyone is an idiot and be aware of everything around you. Some other tips to calm down can be-
- Open the window for some air
- Take a deep breath
- Be patient
- Concentrate on the road
- Clench the wheel
- Swear in your head sometimes helps.
- Do not drive if you are really angry or upset
Just another day on the roads!!
* Blackmagicstar4 *
When I first started driving I drove fast. I don't think I was a dangerous driver except for my speed. I was pulled over on the first day I had my drivers' licence for being over the speed limit! I think the policeman took pity on me as it was day one and let me off with a warning. Surprisingly enough I wasn't ever pulled over for speeding again (I should have been).
I am much better these days so don't worry about being on the roads at the same time as me! But I have noticed that as I have become a better driver the rest of the road seems to have gone crazy. I find myself often wondering if people are completely mad or just thoroughly stupid. With age I have not only driven slower but also used my middle finger more. Not something I am overly proud of but it seems to be an immediate response to deal with other drivers.
There is a roundabout I go on every day during the school run which makes me crazy. As you approach it the ground is clearly marked. The left hand lane goes either left or straight and the right hand lane merges into the left hand one or goes all the way around. Without doubt once a day I will have some nut in the right hand lane thinking it's their right of way to go straight and it drives me bonkers. I came to this roundabout the other day and was in a foul mood due to lack of sleep the night before and I wasn't in the mood to move out of anyone's way. Because of this I was nearly run off the road by a van who then flicked ME off! I usually speed up or slow down to aid the flow of traffic, not that I should have to as I'm the one in the correct lane.
I have in the past kept my middle finger and naughty words to myself but on some occasions they've escaped me. I was cut-up by another driver not long ago and her terrible driving caused me to slam on the brakes which then woke the baby with a scream! I wasn't pleased and at the next set of traffic lights I found myself next to her. A stupid little girl who could barely see over the steering wheel. She looked over and caught my eye as I asked what her ...... problem was?! She just starred at me as I continued to tell her she was going to kill some one the way she was driving and to cut it out. To her luck the light turned green so she was released from my verbal attack.
I'm not usually a confrontational person but when I get onto the roads and am face to face with idiot people who threaten my life and the life of my children I become an enraged mad woman with no patience.
On the motorway once a car jumped in front of mine with only inches of space. They had quite obviously not looked or I was in their blind spot (so still not looked properly). I gave a little honk to alert them to my existence and was then greeted by a finger. By the time I reacted they had sped off but I thought it quite amusing that my first response was a handful of swear words my mother would be ashamed to know were even a part of my vocabulary. Thankfully the older child was at school and the baby was asleep so I haven't passed on that language just yet.
I just wish sometimes that people would just drive as they are supposed to. Things would be so much easier! I saw one day that my normal route home was packed with cars and as much as I love sitting in traffic for hours on I instead decided to go another way. On the radio as I made my way home I heard the traffic come one. I turned it up to hear if there had been an accident or something but to my amazement the radio presenter started having a go at bad drivers saying that the only reason there was huge delays was down to people running the lights and blocking up the roundabout at the end of that road! For anyone waiting in the queue that must have made them a bit angry but it makes sense. I have often come to a roundabout and seen people crossing when there is no room for them on the other side and thus blocking another lane from getting elsewhere! I know sometimes if you are too nice and let people go they will start to take advantage and at those times by all means cross and block them from doing so.
I seem to be ranting now but it does make me angry the way some people drive and I have one many occasions wished there to be a police car near by to witness the goings on. Surely everyone is taught the same things? Do not overtake on a blind corner! Isn't that common sense? Look before pulling out of a side road! Know who else is on the road around you! And this last one is just from me ... Is there a need for so much thumping music that it rattles my damn car too! I'm sorry to go on but it is terrifying to think that some one without a care for safety could threaten mine and I'm pretty sure that this is the root to my road rage! I have become intolerant to idiocy.
Just to be clear my rant is not solely geared to younger drivers as there are just as many of us older folk who drive like maniacs. My poor mother being a good example of stupid maniac driver. I love her to bits but I have refused to ever get into a car with her driving again. She should be retested to be honest. If I say this to her she goes on about the 4o odd years she's been driving and what do I know blah blah blah so I don't bother saying anything anymore. Example being that this is the woman who saw a sign on the motorway stating that the next exit was the one she wanted and began entering the hard shoulder. I squealed at her to get back on the damn road. Her only response was that I was being silly and that was the exit lane! Lord help me she's losing it. Maybe in another 9 years when she hits 70 years old I can claim she's old and a bit gone in the head and have her licence removed (I don't think I'd actually be that mean but we'll wait and see if she gets any worse).
A friend of mine who is normally quite mind mannered and a lovely person becomes a bit of a racist behind the wheel. He admits it and can't understand why he gets this way but for some reason he has fallen victim to road rage racism. Thankfully he does all this behind closed windows so as not to actually have any unwanted confrontation.
My dad taught me to drive and one thing he said at the time has stuck with me always and that is when entering the roads just remember one thing ... Everyone is a flipping lunatic! Such a true statement.
I have thankfully never encountered physical attacks from other drivers in response to some road rage but a friend in school did. She was driving down a country lane in the late afternoon when a car came round a corner very fast and nearly hit her. She held her hand on the horn for a minute and her boyfriend stuck two fingers up at them. They continued along the road and within a few minutes noticed that the driver was now behind them and coming closer fast. She began to get a bit frightened by them. Her boyfriend told her to stay calm and stay at her speed. They were suddenly bumped by the other car. She apparently was fighting back tears over the fact she was scared and it was her dad's car. They got to the end of the road and turned into a petrol station. The station was busy and they thought it would be safe with all the people around but the other car followed them in. They parked at the front door to the shop so as to be in full sight of any cameras. Within moments the two people from the other car were next to them kicking her dad's car and shouting at them. The boyfriend got out and was hit a number of times before station clerks chased them off! What kind of world do we live in where people find this sort of behaviour ok!?! This is an extreme case and one that left me shocked. All they did was honk and this is what they got in return.
I guess the only advice I have is to be careful and beware but I think there is no stopping road rage.
As I don't like being such an angry driver and fearing other s I have given road rage the one star threatment!
© oioiyou 2009
I don't own a car or even have a driving licence but I have definitely experienced road rage from someone I would least have expected it from - my mother. Now, generally my mum is pretty mild-mannered, polite and friendly to everyone she meets but all of this seems to change as soon as she gets behind the wheel. The slightest instance of inconsiderate driving seems to send her into a rage I have never seen from her in any other situation. She swears, shouts and gestures at other motorists with reckless abandon and has on more than one occasion got out of her car and gone up to another car and berated the driver. For a 5 foot 2 50 year old woman with a gammy leg, she's very intimidating when she gets going, I've seen her strike fear into the hearts of many fellow road users.
My mother's outbursts of road rage got me thinking about how such a usually mild mannered person could become so angry so quickly and with very little provocation. My theory that it is borne of fear about driving as opposed to being genuine anger about the other driver. Whilst my mother is not an angry woman, she is something of a worrier. I believe that her road rage is actually an expression of her fear of driving. I think that whenever she sees another driver doing something she perceives as even slightly dangerous, she gets into a state of panic and imagines the worst case scenario such as a serious traffic accident. It seems to me that when ordinarily calm people have sudden expressions of anger, they are actually having a reaction to fear even if they do not realise it. Driving can be a cause of stress to many people as it involves high levels of concentration and as we all know, when that concentration slips it can have fatal consequences. This would explain why when my mother witnesses bad driving it leads her to have such an irrational overreaction.
On your way to work, or back home, or to an important meeting, you get stuck in an awful traffic jam. And I mean really stuck. You are obviously getting increasingly angry, when you suddenly notice that the driver in the car next to yours smiles at you and gives you a friendly wave. And the guy behind you finally stops honking his horn like a maniac. You begin to relax thinking: 'What's the rush, after all?!' And then you......wake up.
Unfortunately, courtesy on the roads probably ended before it even appeared. When you get into your car, you must be prepared for virtually everything as it is becoming more and more dangerous and stressful to drive nowadays. It would not be unreasonable to assume that each of us has once witnessed, as a driver or passenger, a fit of aggression from another driver. Many of us, we have to admit, have succumbed to negative and distinctly unfriendly emotions while involved in a particularly difficult and stressful situation in a car. Aggression on the road is manifested not only verbally, but can even lead to physical violence.
These incidents are not unusual in today's world which I have found out in the last two days while driving around Warsaw. Having lived here for 14 months and only used the car about 5 times for emergencies I have felt quite happy and less stressed using public transport. However the last two days I have used the car to get to the other side of the city to try and do some Xmas shopping. I had forgotten just how mental Polish drivers are and how unsafe it is driving on the city's roads. I have never felt so stressed, agitated and unable to concentrate. The shopping expedition was a waste of time as I couldn't focus on the job in hand and came home on Monday with a kilo of oranges and nothing else. Yesterday I left the house at 11am and somewhere along the way took a wrong turning, got completely lost and arrived home at 4pm. During those five hours my head was reeling from the sight and sounds of honking, screeching of brakes, old ladies, shaking fists and shouting at drivers who don't stop at crossings, music blaring from open windows, police cars chasing around like they are on a Hawaii Five O set and ambulance sirens bleeping every 30 minutes - total bedlam! With my stress levels reaching the top of the Richter scale I decided to leave the car in the underground parking never to be used again and have decided to take a closer look into the phenomenon referred to as 'road rage' or 'aggressive driving' - what it is, where it comes from, how to avoid it and how to protect yourself from it.
The notions 'road rage' and 'aggresive driving' can be used to refer to the same phenomena, though some people may differentiate between these terms. In general, they refer to various types of aggressive behaviour by drivers. It is believed that the term 'road rage' originated in the United States in the 1980's - it was first used in a Los Angeles Times article. While there is no official data regarding the scale of the problem in the US, it is estimated that every year about 1,500 people are seriously injured or killed in road rage related incidents. And the number keeps rising. In 1999, aggressive driving was recognised by the US as one of the five biggest dangers that drivers can encounter (along with, for instance,weather changes). There is little data on the extent of road rage in the United Kingdom, but the number of reports of aggressive drivers is also significant. According to a 2003 survey, over 40% of Polish drivers experienced aggressive behaviour from other drivers. 70% of them admitted that they often get irritated by the way other people drive their cars. Road rage can certainly be described as an international problem, charactersistic not only of industrialised and highly motorised societies, but also those less affluent ones in which driving-related frustration, and thus aggressive behaviour, is caused primarily by the terrible quality of the roads and the incredibly huge numbers of all kinds of vehicles (from donkeys to cars) trying to get wherever they're going. Practically everybody can turn out to be an aggressive driver at some point. Statistics show that the majority of offenders are young (between 18 and 26), poorly educated males with criminal records and drug or alcohol problems but it doesn't mean to say that women, older people and successful individuals with no criminal past can also succumb. So beware, for a friendly looking older lady may turn into a demon behind the wheel.
There are certain things that are almost guaranteed to provoke road rage, for instance:
* Obscene gestures such as 'showing the finger' which can easily irritate other drivers
* Stubborn tailgating - it is not only dangerous, but it can frustrate the most peaceful person
* Horn or headlight use to show disapproval of somebody else's driving
* Mobile phones - people who talk on the phone while driving are perceived by others as unfocused and thus irritating on the road
* Changing lanes without signalling
* Car alarms that are not turned off immediately
* Parking your car so that it takes more than one parking space or blocks another vehicle in any way
* Too slow/fast/careful/careless driving
I could probably list hundreds of other things which happen to trigger aggression or give examples of road rage incidents which were not really preceded by any particular happenings. In fact, the underlying reason for the occurence of road rage is more complex as it generally involves a combination of various factors. These are usually stressors which are present in the driver's life and the actual traffic incident is only the straw that broke the camel's back. A bad day at work, a quarrel with a partner, bad luck at school, lousy weather can all be taken out on a casual road user. But there are also deeper problems which can be stretched practically to all drivers. Human beings are territorial and this territoriality is extended to their vehicles and the space they need to move in. With the constantly increasing number of new road users and new cars, it is likely someone will invade your territory and become an enemy. And as we all know, we aren't usually polite to our enemies. Besides, people nowadays live under huge pressure and in a constant rush. They get tense, but do not release those tensions, which at some point have to explode. And this may happen quite unintentionally through, say, verbal abuse of a fellow driver. Increased congestion on the roads does not make it easy to control your emotions or anger and you may become a victim of road rage for no specific reason or, at least, for a reason which is completely beyond your control. Does this mean you should avoid travelling by car? Not exactly but here are some ways how not to succumb to road rage and at the same time relieve your own stress.
* Consider altering your schedule to avoid the worst congestion. If this is impossible, accept possible delays.
* Improve the comfort of your vehicle - use air conditioning, install a CD player and turn on a relaxing piece of music.
* Make sure your car is regularly serviced so that it is in good shape.
* Concentrate on being relaxed. Do not clench your teeth, take a deep breath and loosen your grip on the wheel.
* Be aware that you cannot control the traffic, but you can control your reaction to it.
* Do not drive when you are angry, upset or very tired.
* Anticipate situations which may irritate you or other drivers
* Before getting irritated by another driver's mistake ask yourself: 'how many times have I made the same mistake?'
* Avoid all conflicts, even if you are right in a given situation - just get out of the way and think: 'I must be the wise one in this situation.'
Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. You don't want to end up like these characters;
'In Massachusetts, Donald Graham, a 54 year-old bookkeeper, became embroiled in a heated, ongoing traffic dispute with Michael Blodgett, 42. After the motorists antagonised each other for several miles on the Interstate, they both pulled over to an access road and got out of their vehicles. At that point Graham retrieved a powerful crossbow from his trunk and murdered Blodgett with a razor sharp 29 - inch arrow.'
'In Seattle, Washington, Terrance Milton Hall, age 57, shot and killed Steven Burgess, a 21 year old college student, because Burgess was unable to disarm the loud anti-theft alarm on his jeep.'
'In California, Oscar winner Jack Nicholson believed that a driver of a Mercedes-Benz cut him off in traffic. The famous actor grabbed a golf club, stepped out of his car at a red light, and repeatedly struck the windshield and roof of the Mercedes.'
'On 3 August 1995, Robin Ficker, 52, a promoinent lawyer from Maryland, was driving his two sons to see his father at Holy Cross hospital. Suddenly Ficker's 1990 Jeep Cherokee bumped into a newer model jeep in front of him. The driver, Caroline Goldman, was six months pregnant. Goldman reported that when she approached Ficker's car he became very agitated, pointing at her and yelling. Suddenly, he struck her in the face, breaking her sunglasses and giving her a black eye that lasted for ten days.'
I know they are all American examples and we all know the Americans have a problem with violence but I don't think the UK is any different. Although I have not been personally involved in any road rage incidents I have seen many cases happen on the roads in UK and Europe. My brother who is a lorry driver has been involved in several incidents and on one occasion did seriously become embroiled in a violent situation which he regrets now but at the time nobody or nothing could stop him from retaliating and putting it politely, chinning the other driver. Personally I prefer to use public transport - I feel safer and calmer and it keeps me out of trouble.
Here is a list of the most popular weapons used by aggressive drivers (according to the American Automobile Association) which would suggest to me that people who carry some of these so called weapons must be unhinged anyway before they even get into the car.
* Fist and feet
* Tire Irons
* Baseball Bats
* Projectiles such as rocks, coins, cans and garbage
*Their own vehicles (this refers mainly to women)
Finally, my advice is to avoid situations which might trigger another driver's danger, do not let yourself be provoked by others' behaviour, try to stay cool no matter what happens and remember that every driver can turn out to be a potential maniac with a gun under their seat. Unfortunately murders on the road also happen. Do you really want to take a risk just for the sake of relieving your frustration through showing somebody your middle finger?
After reading the many reviews on here about this subject I decided to add my two-penneth for what it is worth!
I have been the victim of road rage myself on many occasions. There are lots of factors to take into consideration when looking at this subject I feel. Many people, like myself, view a car as a necessary possession. This is essentially true, however, you can look at it from a different angle and say that it is a potentially lethal weapon.
Weve all gotten into a car and driven ourselves, loved ones and friends to many destinations when maybe we shouldnt do. Stress, tiredness, having drunk alcohol maybe, having just had an argument with someone these are things to consider really before driving somewhere. Sometimes I have driven to work and not remembered the actual journey there not because I was under the influence, merely because I was on auto-pilot and the journey was uneventful. But what would have happened if the journey had turned out to be eventful would I have had enough wits about me to have had the right reactions swiftly enough? Id like to think that I would have but well never know.
Some people are just naturally aggressive and that actually spills over into everything they do, affecting the way they drive. My driving instructor used to get me to pull over if someone was right up my backside when I was learning to drive. He always said that it was better to have these kinds of people in front of you where you can keep them in sight (or not as the case may be!) rather than have them behind you where you constantly try to anticipate what they are going to do or worse have them run into the back of you because theyre driving too close.
Ive also experienced road rage myself as I cant abide bad driving. Road rage takes on many forms, it can be as simple as just calling someone a name because they do something stupid or more extreme cases of actually getting out of the car and starting a fight or worse. Most times when I have been tipped over the edge by someone cutting me up are because Im on my way home after a long day training the other side of the country or after a stressful day in the office.
My experiences of road rage then
I had been driving for about 4 years but had just bought myself my first car. It was a mini and bright yellow, no dashboard to speak of, no radio, not even a carpet and it leaked from every single part of the windscreen it could but I loved it. It was a great little car despite my inexperience with a manual choke and problems it had starting. We had some real fun in this car and when someone ran into the back of me my little four x (as I called him because of the colour being similar to a can of Castlemaine XXXX lager) came off better but the person who crashed into me had the whole front of his bonnet crumpled.
Anyway I digress (fond memories of the car) back to the roadrage incident. I was sat in a line of traffic that was not moving at a roundabout. The guy in the big 4x4 that pulled up behind me obviously got really impatient because he started beeping his horn and waving his hand telling me to move out of his way. I ignored him to begin with I mean where was he going to go? The road was narrow so it wasnt like I was blocking a filter lane or anything and besides there was nowhere for me to go. After several minutes of his tooting his horn and shouting for me to move, he actually got out of his car and came over to me. He was very offensive and said if I didnt move hed run over my little matchbox toy car because I was holding him up. By now the traffic had started to move a little so he was actually holding himself up. I smiled sweetly and put the car in gear and moved off. I wasnt going to enter into an argument with him he was at least 2 foot taller than me!
Another time I had taken my sisters children to see Star Wars Attack of the Clones. Wed had a really good night out as Id booked advance tickets, taken them to Pizza Hut and generally had fun. Id progressed to a nicer car by then as this was about 5 years ago. She was called Sally and was a bright red Saxo, being the first car I had managed to save and buy outright and being brand new I was very proud of my shiny little Sally. On approach to a large Island that is controlled by traffic lights I got in lane. This happened to be the left lane which left turners can use and also can be used by people going straight on. The traffic lights had just turned to green as I got to the Island so after double checking nothing was on the Island I ventured out. I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye and stamped on the brake coming to a screeching halt on the Island just before the left turn. Then it happened Bang and my wheel trim shot off round the Island. A jeep had jumped the red light after I had gone onto the Island. If I hadnt seen him and applied the brakes the jeep would have ploughed into the drivers door and I may not be here today to tell this tale.
The thing is he didnt stop. Drove off down the road at break neck speed. What I am about to tell you is the most stupidest thing I have ever done. I followed him getting one of the kids to write down the registration number in the process. Eventually he did stop on a narrow country lane where it was dark. He was out of his jeep before I could even stop and when I did, pulled open the drivers door and virtually pulled me out of the car. He pinned me against the side of the car and verbally abused me. He stank of alcohol and it was only 7pm on a Saturday evening not to mention the fact that he had a young child in the car with him.
I managed to disentangle myself and one of the kids passed me my phone out of the car. I managed to dial 999 but they couldnt send anyone out to me. They asked me to put they guy on the phone and after speaking to them he seemed to calm down a little but when I got the phone again he turned to me and said I am gonna F******g do you! At this point the police office told me to get back in my car, give her the registration number of the other car and stay on the line whilst I drove home. He followed me all the way to a local police station so it was obvious that he was planning on following me home. I spoke to police in the station about the obvious smell of alcohol and they said theyd send someone round. What actually did happen was a police officer visited me as the guy had reported me for drink and dangerous driving when hed gotten home along with driving away from the scene of an accident.
I will say that I have never been so scared in my entire life and I ended up selling the car in the end because I was so scared that he would track me down.
Ive also seen all the cars haring up the road behind you, flashing lights, honking horns and the like. I move over and let them pass because it really isnt worth allowing them to upset my day. I used to slow down and drive at a slower speed just to annoy them but I dont anymore.
As I drive a lot with my job it is inevitable that I experience a certain amount of frustration with traffic or others that I meet out on the road. I freely admit to having been one of the drivers I have mentioned who has flashed another to get out of their way or honked the horn.
I have even been known to wind down the window and shout names out at other people because of their bad driving. Why I did this I have no idea. It seemed as though a red mist had descended and horns came out on top of my head.
A few years back I did a stress analysis on my life. I had to keep a stress diary for a test work were doing at the time about stress in the workplace. I found that the times I was most stressed were driving home from work or on a Saturday driving around the city centre. It was for this reason alone that I decided I was probably a liability to myself and others on the road in this state and I needed to work something out for my stress issue. I actually spoke to a stress councillor through work and she suggested I take up some form of Yoga. I have been doing it ever since 3 times a week. Dealing with stressful situations now are a breeze and I no longer feel the need to poke every bad driver in the eye!
So in essence what I have taken so long to talk about is that for every case of road rage there are always other factors to consider. Dealing with the underlying issue and getting to the root cause, recognising that maybe you do have a bit of an issue is the first step, can help in so many ways. If I hadnt ever done the stress diary I would never have known that I was putting myself in a stressful situation that my body coped with by becoming aggressive, every time I got behind the wheel of a car.
I have calmed down a considerable amount. Im not saying that I dont allow other people to piss me off but if I do something stupid on the road and someone toots me for it I will say Im sorry. If someone does something stupid to me on the road then I simply let it go I may have a chunter to myself about it but its not worth it after my experiences.
Just some of my experiences behind the wheel - thanks for reading!
Road rage is anti-social behaviour that shouldn't be tolerated. Direct action will lead to more road rage. Law is required to deal with people behaving aggressively on the roads.
forms of road rage:
rude gestures like two fingers
blocking lane etc.
coming out of vehicle and threatening other driver
damaging vehicle of the other person
weaving from lane to lane
overtaking resulting in putting other vehicles in danger.
there are more instances and examples of road rage. main ones are listed though.
All of us have suffered road rage at some time in our driving lives.
One of the funniest was, once a car overtook five cars, mine was third one to be overtaken by a male in his 30's. 500 meters down the lane there was a big queue. Overtaker ended up in the wrong lane and people behind him were in front of him. Sad story but it was worth it.
There are good drivers out there as well as very bad drivers and in some situations controlling oneself is best way of causing road rage.
Another thing which I never understand is speedsters. Shaving few minutes by driving dangerously is not worth the risk.
Things that make me angry.
Clearly some people shouldn't be on the roads. OAP's (over 80) shouldn't be on the road. Their driving drives other people mad.
Women drivers, take the hiss some time, I've seen women applying make up to their pretty faces while driving.
While this is irritating I never get so much hissed off.
I am not the one to become angry enough to road rage. I can understand why road rage exists. Bad drivers and impatient people.
There are hundreds of cases where road rage causes accidents. It should be avoided. In ideal world that is possible, we don't live in a perfect world and road rage is likely to happen more and more as roads get crowded with vehicles.
My family and I have been the victim of this, as I am sure many others have. My son, for example, one evening was turning right into the estate where he lives when a guy came zooming up behind and had to slam on his brakes when he realised my son was actually waiting to turn right. He then blasted his horn and actually followed my son home, confronting him on the driveway. If this guy had not been in such a tearing hurry and had read the road in front of him, he would have seen my son about to make a right turn. It was quite disconcerting but luckily my lad is a sturdy six footer and the other driver soon realised it was not wise to mess with him and made a hasty u turn but I am sure he thought Ha, a young kid in a car, I will sort him out!
BLOW THEM A KISS
When I am the victim of a male driver trying to cut me up or he becomes impatient with me or something, I smile and blow a kiss!! Ladies you should try this, the faces on these guys is a treat, especially if they have a woman next to them!!!!
Once a middle aged guy was particularly annoying by blasting on his horn and when he pulled alongside me at traffic lights,waving his fist at me, I looked across and smiling sweetly, blew him a kiss. His wife (or whoever) sitting next to him saw me and you could tell from the body language and mouthed words that she was not happy with him!!!!! I have often wondered if I caused a divorce by my innocent gesture in response to his rudeness!!!!!
On another occasion I was out with a male colleague and as we were driving along a fairly narrow road a truck came zooming up behind us, almost sticking to the bumper. My colleague was becoming so irate because he couldnt go any faster or move over to let the guy past, and I was fed up of hearing both the horn on the truck and my colleague complaining. So I turned round and gave a V sign to the driver behind. Now this might not seem at all unusual to some people, but it was very out of character for me. My colleague spluttered and the guy in the truck actually slowed down, shaking his head in disbelief that this respectable looking middle aged woman could proffer such a gesture.
WOMEN V WOMEN
I am not going to get into an argument here about women drivers, but one thing I have noticed is that a lot of women are discourteous to other females when driving.
The most common example of this is when you are wanting to join a line of traffic and everyone can see you are waiting to get in. More often than not other women drivers will not give way to another woman, whereas a man will. Now why is this, ladies? I know it doesnt only happen to me, because my female friends and I have all experienced this regularly.
THE SOLUTION TO ROAD RAGE
My solution to road rage is to let them get on with it. If these drivers who are in such a tearing hurry want to kill themselves by screeching along and blasting their horns, then let them get on with it, unfortunately innocent people may also be involved if they do this. But in my opinion it is not worth getting all het up just because you are stuck in traffic and might be a few minutes late for work or whatever, or getting impatient because the person in front of you is sticking to the speed limit. Is it really worth getting so stressed? I dont think so.
The only occasion when this is worth doing is if you are in a life or death situation. I confess to having driven like a mad woman myself on one such occasion when a member of my family was in hospital and I got that call to say come at once. Really it would have been more sensible to get a taxi but I was not thinking straight at the time and those minutes waiting for a taxi would have meant a delay. I did get impatient with other road users, it was a Friday in the rush hour, but even though I was desperate to get to the hospital I still did not result to the road rage that some people resort to in less urgent situations.
Of course the answer to road rage is for us all to be courteous to one another, but as some members of society dont know what courtesy is in any situation, they are unlikely to use it whilst driving.
What is surprising however is the number of people who are normally law abiding, upright citizens and very courteous and polite, but when they get behind a wheel they become monsters. I reckon these are mostly insignificant, probably henpecked, men who dare not vent their anger on anyone except other road users.
Road Rage is a subject that is not a really pleasant one to discuss. It seems to happen a lot in a minor way, but not very often in a particular nasty way.
However, I get ahead of myself, firstly What is Road Rage?
Road Rage is a condition which can affect just about anyone, it is a condition where, while you are driving you just lose control of yourself and snap. Now a Wikipedia defuinition of Road Rage is:
"Road rage (also road violence) is the informal name for deliberately dangerous and/or violent behaviour under the influence of heightened, violent emotion such as anger and frustration, with regard to the use of automobiles."
Now have I ever suffered from Road Rage?
Actually YES, I was punched in the face once when I was much younger (about 18) by another driver for what I assume he thought was because I cut him up. It was not particularly pleasant but anyway so be it.
Have I ever done Road Rage?
Well if you mean by the violent kind where I have punched someone or deliberately cut them up, then NO, however I have become angry when driving and wanted to scream at another driver. However I would definetely not take it another level as I am not violent in that kinda way.
Now it is clear that Road Rage can happen and my tips for staying clear of Road Rage is firstly, when driving, drive in a manner where you consider other drivers as yourself. That means, when you are in a hurry and you are desperate to pass the slow driver in front, rather than undercut them, wait until you have a safe option to do so, this should mean that in the long run, you should not be exposed to Road Rage from other angry drivers.
Also, when you are cut up (as it happens to all of us at some time), consider the issue of slamming your hands down onto your horn and showing the finger and consider what could be the reaction back! Yes we need to let off steam when we are cut up, but you don't want to give other drivers an excuse to get mad back at you.
Eye contact can also be a dumb move when someone is being aggresive to you and conducting Road Rage as this can spur them on and cause them to get even more violent. I would recommend locking your doors and try to move on to a safe location (ouside police stations are usually recommended as a good location, but generally a place with loads of people is usually a good bet).
Now for those people who have a temper or who are capable of doing Road Rage, consider at all times when you are driving the fact that you have the capability of being violent / aggresive and fight the urge. This could involve deep breaths, soothing music, etc, anything that might cause you to relax.
All in all, I recommend that everyone when driving should try to consider other drivers first and drive in a way that considers other drivers as you would like to be considered. This should reduce the opportunities for Road Rage and help everyone to be nicer to each other.
However I expect that that is just a complete pipe dream.
Road rage is a condition suffered by some people when driving. Whatever happens in the mind of these people they lose it all, uncontrollable anger often leads to violent behaviour.
This mental breakdown is difficult to understand, one way to explain it is that people misread their circumstances. Often car is thought to be ones personal space like inside a house. This misunderstanding tricks the road rager into thinking that he or she is in a comfort zone and thus able to do whatever he or she likes doing when angry.
I have seen old people suffering from road rage, I've seen Chavs going through this phase, age is no barrier, I have seen OAP's, Rabbi's, Priests, Muslim rabbi doing it in the public.
Thankfully I have thus far never thought of taking my anger out while driving. I think road rage is bad manners. What is the point of stopping your car to have a go at some person who doesn't give two toots at what you say. I would feel the same if I was victim of road rage, just ignore the other person.
Road rage is a stupid thing to do. If I was going through road rage phase it would take me longer to get to the destination.
I have established the fact that I don't suffer from road rage and don't see the point why other people feel this way.
I had never really appreciated just how scary this can be until I was a victim of it a couple of weeks ago while driving home one night from going out to dinner with friends.
I was in the car on my own and as I ulled out at a T junction a car followed me out onto the main road and then proceeded to drive as close as possible to my car flashing their lights, I slowed down as I had no idea what the problem was however the car pulled up level and the driver looked extremely angry and was shouting abuse at me as he drove on the wrong side of the road level with me, as I slowed down some more to let him pass so did he slow down.
By now I was pretty scared so I acceleterated away as I was convinced that if I had stopped my car I would have been attacked, it was quite a nerve wracking experience as the car continued to follow me for a few hundred yards before turning off. I was literally shaking when I got home and in tears, my partner was so mad he just wanted to drive round looking for them which was definately not a good idea and I could not really describe the car other than it was a dark coloured estate of some sort.
What makes people act like this is beyond me, even if somehow I had cut them up or made them brake I could still not imagine myself acting like this.
It has certainly made me a lot more cautious in future and not something I would wish on anyone.
Road Rage needs to be taken more serous, like drink driving and driving under the influence of drugs, using mobile phones Why?
Because road rage cause's as many accidents as other driving offences. I do not drive myself and road rage is one of the reasons i hold back in trying, its just too scary. I think drivers need to learn how to cope with situations which arise while driving in a better manner.
How many of you have got stressed while driving?
Shouted at other drivers, even if they can't hear you?
Drove too close, because a driver in front is going too slow?
Honked your horn several times?
Gave the V sign?
All the above could cause lack of concentration resulting in an accident even if it seems minor at the time.
I have seen about two accidents due to road rage, only minor but still wouldn't have happened if they had kept calm. An old lady was in the wrong lane and a lad in a car came speeding up beeping horn, which made the lady panic and she hit a lamp-post. All the lad had to do was let the lady across, even if she was in the wrong. On another occasion a car ended in a ditch because two lads wasn't going to give into the other on a duel carriageway which went into one lane, luckily no other cars got in the way, we just observed from behind. Then there the hundreds of occasions where i have seen it and waited for disaster but luckily on lose occasions nothing happened.
Maybe they should add some calming measures to driving tests, but then some driving instructors have a lot to answer for, as my sister could tell you about. Hers really did get nasty with other drivers, not a good example.
So please try and stay calm, while driving, as it only takes a little lack of concentration to make things very bad.
I have always thought road rage was inexplicable, especially the extent some go to to make a point. I find it abhorrent and don't really understand why people could get that worked up.
I have been driving for just under a year now, and have found myself frequently yelling at other road users. I believed road rage was only done by those of mental illness, those who were unable to control their temper in any given situation.. well no, I am susceptable too.
The main reasons for me yelling, silly driving manuouvres, people pulling out in front of me, driving the wrong way up a one way road, parking in parent/children bays, wavering cyclists, red lights, and a whole host of other reasons.
I didn't expect to be like this, I am often outraged at some of the things people do, and the only way to express this frustration with it, is to shout in the car. So yes I do understand mild road rage, but I don't think I would ever get out of my car and approach anyone who I thought was in need of abusing. Which is what road rage is, another form of abuse.
I have once stopped and shout out my car window at someone, well a kid, hallowe'en this year and the silly child jumped out in front of me, emergency stopped and leaned out the window and informed the child that if I ever find out where she lived I would be round to see her parents. Ineffective where I live, she laughed and ran away. I sat and cried before I moved again, I thought I was going to hit her, this is the only time I have ever wanted to jump out of my car and shout at someone.