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Road Rage......what Causes It?

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ToraToraTora | 09:08 Tue 21st Jul 2015 | Motoring
16 Answers
I don't mean inidividual incidents I mean why do many seem to amplify any perceived slight out of all proportion or take any minor error so personally? This has been induced by some of the answers on my thread about the case in news. I have a theory that it's because we are cocooned in our private box and have no way to demostrate contrition. I have in the past made minor errors and tried to apologise but the other driver just seems to assume I did it on purpose to annoy him. To be fair vice versa is often true to. Anyway any ideas how we can address this issue? What about some sort of, "sorry I'm a plonker" light that you can press to apologise?


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I would agree that the sense of isolation combined with a primeval sense of 'territory' can bring out aggression in some drivers.

I also think that a lot of people find driving a stressful experience, which may be compounded by their being late, having had an argument, or a number of other factors which leave people stewing on something, and ready to vent on any excuse, which can happen easily on modern roads.

I am with you - I will apologise if I have made a mistake, but like you, I find other motorists re often more keen to explore their vocabulary at top volume, and use some non-Highway Code signals!
I really don't know. I've seen the calmest of people effing and jeffing at someone on the roads for a very minor mistake.

I don't get annoyed at other road users but I have an irrational hatred of traffic lights. That's the only time you'll hear me swear when I'm driving when the lights turn red.
There is an old saying I heard regularly, "You can criticize a man's wife but never criticize his driving"!!
As the roads become more congested these incidents will become more frequent as drivers become increasingly frustrated and wound up by queues and slow moving traffic which they perceive as other people getting in their way and holding them up. I know myself I can get so angry I feel as though I want to ram people off the road to get them out of my way.
I think sometimes it could be a case of ' The Straw That Broke The Camels Back', ie late for work, appointment etc and you get caught up in traffic jams traffic lights against you and then someone decides to cut you up or backend you or something like that.
Turning the question around slightly - is there a place in modern life where we can be effing furious and act on it? It's a human emotion and we're in an age where it's apparently good to express your emotions. In some families and communities it's the done thing to have a good old barney and maybe fisticuffs to clear the air. It doesn't always clear it - but often it does. Further back in time there was warfare and hunting that enabled us to express our inner rage and take it out on the enemy or a rabbit. Could it be that modern life is the cause of these explosions of unreasoned fury, as much as individual predisposition?
I'm unsure it is simply road/driving that is more aggressive. Folk seem to take offence more easily these days generally. Maybe there's something in the water, or the air ? Or maybe it is all those violent TV programmes ? Or maybe it is the politicians and other authorities that have finally pushed us all too far ? Maybe it is the stress of modern life, that we don't realise it is a different kind of difficulty than experienced in the past ? Or maybe it is because there are just so many poor drivers on the road these days both at the hesitant and the reckless extremes ?
The place I worked a few years back had a Idiot as a Transport Clerk, it was in his mind we could do our depot in Birmingham in 2. 1/2 hrs from our Lancs Depot, I said many times I will get there when I get there, as said, a lot of people may think the short Journey could take 20mins, it may well be, "But What If" that's the way I used to think about Journeys, "What If" 2 drivers are not alike, drivers think other drivers are like them, they may be Positive, others are very unsure in their motives, you will never get a patient driver no matter what you think, the main trouble, a driver think he / she will get there quicker by flying, you can think what you like, it does not work like that.
I can't give a general answer but what gets my blood up are road users who simply haven't got a clue or who are just plain ignorant and therefore make my journey that little less enjoyable - such as Mr Blunders here:
It's just temper and people take things personally which obviously aren't. I think OG's answer is closest.
...or they just need better music... I spend a lot of time driving. It never makes me angry though.
Cellphone radiation.
You very seldom hear of Women exhibiting road rage, or am I missing something?
I think it is a British thing, nobody ever seems to get het up in the rest of europe.
Talbot, have you ever been on French or Italian roads??!
Yes, very often.

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