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The Science Behind Road Rage

The Science Behind Road Rage

Car Accident Attorneys Explain the Dangers of Road Rage

We have all been there: the driver in front of you is on their cell phone and driving their car 12 miles below the set speed limit, the driver to your left will not let you over, and the driver behind you is tailgating your car! You might find it very difficult not to get angry. However, it is important to know that aggressive driving, commonly referred to as “road rage,” is one of the top causes of car accident deaths in the U.S. Road rage is normally triggered by particular events that we construe as an obstacle on the road – for instance, a slow driver or even a driver changing lanes unexpectedly. Our reactions to these triggers are normally influenced by various factors such as:
  • Personal factors like mood, age, and/ or gender
  • Contextual stressors like deadlines, hot weather, heavy traffic, or road works
  • Our own understanding of the incident like over-generalizing ( “people are just reckless drivers”) and personalizing (“they purposely cut me off”)
Road rage could cause you to scream expletives, honk your horn, make risky maneuvers on the road, and/or even get out of your car to dish out physical or verbal attacks. A recent research study confirmed the connection between road rage and particular risky and aggressive behaviors. It revealed that road rage resulted in aggressive driving, driving errors, and accidents as well. Road rage is both physiological and emotional. If you or your loved one has been injured by an angry driver, then you need to seek the services of experienced car accident attorneys. Good car accident attorneys will not rest until you get the compensation you deserve.

It is physiological

What really takes place in our bodies when we get angry? This might shed some light on the impulsive and reckless decisions a lot of drivers make when taken over by road rage:
  • Heart rate increases, pumping more adrenaline, sugar, and oxygen into the bloodstream
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breathing accelerates
  • Muscles tense up
It is easy to see how these changes could make you even more frustrated and angry. Another physiological factor is known as “Intermittent Explosive Disorder.” This condition affects 7.3% of grown-ups and accounts for several road rage acts. It makes one extremely temperamental, which could be a catalyst for even more aggressive behavior when the driver experiences various frustrations on the road.

It is emotional

When angry, your body is not only physically affected; your emotions also flare up and cause equal mayhem on your actions. You might feel as if you have been personally offended and this can have a huge impact on your psyche. Kindness is a lot easier to forget, but offensive actions are not easy to let go of. They only serve to intensify anger and frustration. The majority of people are more likely to exaggerate feelings of hurt than those of happiness. Stress is also another major component of road rage. Most of the accidents linked to road rage normally take place during rush hours and there is a reason behind this. The more stress a driver is experiencing, the more emotionally troubled they are and the more likely they are to give in to road rage. Stress increases our aggression potential and triggers a “fight or flight” response which can result in hostile impulsiveness. Road rage is something that can be avoided. There are certain things that you as a driver can keep in mind to prevent you from giving in to road rage. You can play relaxing music in the car, make funny or light conversation if you have others riding with you, or even take deep breaths and count to 20 if provoked. These actions will take your mind off your frustrations and allow you to think before you act. Car accident attorneys are there to make sure that you are well compensated for any injuries and damage caused by an angry driver. Contact Wilshire Law Firm for high quality legal representation.   Last Updated: 03-24-2017
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