What Causes Road Rage (aka Driving Anger)


What are some of the causes of Road Rage (aka Driving Anger?),
Part I: “Situational” Factors

In search of answers regarding causes of driving anger and aggression, researchers have considered a wide variety of possible situational factors leading to driving anger and Road Rage, including: road congestion; time urgency; unnecessary slow driving or delays at intersections; negative affect; anonymity (e.g., of self or other drivers) and “deindividuation” (i.e., of other drivers); “interpersonal insulation” between automobiles (i.e., impeded communication between drivers); pre-existing mood; presence and type of passengers; near accidents; stress; aggressive stimuli; and environmental factors (e.g., temperature, noise, road conditions, pollution, automobile comfort, etc.). As one might expect, no one situational factor has been shown to be at the root of driving anger, and overall, “The collective research on situational variables suggests that anonymity, driver comfort, local driving norms, and congestion all influence [anger] responses to frustrating delays…and that multiple influences are at work.”

To be continued….

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