In today’s hectic, fast-paced world, it’s easy to become frustrated, and increasingly people express their anger when driving. This has been categorized as ‘Road Rage. ’ It can happen on the way to work, while sitting in traffic, or when simply pulling out of your driveway. I see it happening more often, and have even had it directed at me. Once when I was jammed in bumper-to-bumper traffic I nearly slammed into the back of someone’s car because I was texting rather than paying attention to the road.
This resulted in quite the major ‘Road Rage’ incident and the drivers behind and beside me illustrated their anger in more than just their faces. Based on my driving experiences, I would say that the most common triggers for incidents of ‘Road Rage’ are overcrowding of the roadways, distracted driving, and irresponsible speeding. As our population grows in the United States, and as this increase causes increased population density, there are more drivers on roadways today than there ever has been before.
This has led to the over use of our already crumbling highway infrastructures in many parts of the country.
These roadways were designed decades ago to handle a population and density that was simply a fraction of our current traffic volumes. This, of course, directly contributes to traffic congestion and leads to significant delays. A substantial portion of ‘Road Rage’ seems to stem from an irrational reaction to the stress of the increased traffic and the delays encountered. If someone is not driving as fast as the person behind him thinks he should, or someone cuts in front of someone else, it can quickly escalate out of control and lead to an incident that is dangerous to the offender as well as those around him on the road. Road Rage’ due to congestion often manifests itself as these ‘intentional retaliatory’ maneuvers.
For instance: a driver in heavy traffic feels the person in front of them is ‘intentionally going too slow,’ overreacts by speeding up, tailgating, and ultimately threatening the safety of the leading driver. This overreaction could easily lead to an escalation of the event and could contribute to a deadly accident. Driving in congested traffic, with its inherent hazards, is made even more dangerous by driving while distracted. Our population is increasingly driving while distracted.
There are three main types of distraction: Visual—taking your eyes off the road; Manual—taking your hands off the wheel; and Cognitive—taking your mind off what you are doing. Distracted driving activities include things like using cell phones applications, texting, and eating. For example, I love to use the ‘Google Maps’ feature on my iPhone when traveling and it often gets in the way of my paying attention to what is going on around me. I’ve even once ran a red light because I was so focused on my ‘Google Maps’ app while trying to find my way home from a friend’s house.
Of course eating (or putting on make-up, or reading a book, or …) while driving also impairs our ability to keep our hands on the road. While both of those distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving can be especially dangerous as it combines both of these types of distractions while also requiring mental focus for communicating with others. Although distracted driving and congested roadways can cause considerable bouts of ‘Road Rage,’ irrational decision making with regard to speed can also be exceptionally dangerous for such behavior.
Today’s drivers feel they have a right to drive as fast they wish without the consideration of other drivers, the law, or the consequences of their actions. It would appear that they feel that it is entirely within their rights to drive 10 to 15 miles per hour over the speed limit and become angry and aggressive if anyone going slower than that gets in their way. It’s not uncommon for me to have someone zoom past me using excessive speeds and merge in front of me at the last minute because they felt I was going too slowly.
Those kinds of unintelligent reactions are a significant cause of ‘Road Rage. ’ All of these factors combine to define what I call ‘Road Rage,’ but the effects of ‘Road Rage’ reach far beyond my personal experiences. I’ve heard occasions of extreme instances where drivers will follow other drivers home to harass, and sometimes murder them. The situations created are dire and the need for a call to action to address our society’s unique concerns couldn’t be greater. Or perhaps we should all just have cars that can drive themselves so that we could spend more time relaxing!
Cite this Development by Example
Development by Example. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/development-by-example/