Road rage is a term used to refer to intentional acts of
aggressive, dangerous or even violent behavior by a driver of a
motor vehicle that are triggered by frustration, anger or revenge.
Road rage consists of a wide variety of behaviors that range from
minor instances such as rude or obscene gestures and frequent honking
of the vehicle’s horn to more serious acts such as assault
that may result in injury or even death. Other examples of road
Aggressive driving behaviors, including tailgating or sudden braking
Verbally shouting threats or curse words toward other drivers
Pursuing another vehicle out of anger
Deliberately throwing an object at another driver’s vehicle
Running another vehicle off the road to get into a verbal or physical
DO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE HAVE ROAD RAGE?
Take the Miller-Patton Road Rage Quick Self-Assessment Screen below
to help assess your anger responses to road rage. It is also helpful
if you ask trusted friends or family members to answer these questions
about their experiences with you when you have been angry while
driving to help you get a better picture about how you react.
MILLER - PATTON ROAD RAGE QUICK SELF-ASSESSMENT SCREEN
1. Do you tailgate other drivers to make them speed up or to get
out of your way?
2. Do you often honk the horn to show your frustration about someone
3. When there is a confrontation with another driver, do you often
blame the other person?
4. Do you often suddenly accelerate or brake out of anger toward
5. Do you yell insults or swear words at other drivers while on
6. Do you often cut off other drivers intentionally out of anger?
7. Do you often get into confrontations with other drivers on the
8. Do you use obscene gestures (e.g., “the finger”)
toward other drivers?
9. Have you gotten out of your vehicle and gone to another person’s
vehicle and banged or knocked on their windows or doors?
10. Do you throw objects at other vehicles while driving (e.g.,
beverage cans, trash, fresh fruit or vegetables, etc.), to intimidate
other drivers or to damage their vehicles?
11. Have you shown another driver that you are carrying a weapon?
12. Have you forced another vehicle off the road to get into a fight
with another driver?
If you answer “yes” to two or more of these questions,
then you may have road rage.
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR ROAD RAGE
Don’t Play “Beat the Clock” - Reduce
your driving stress by allowing sufficient time to get to your destination.
Many drivers impose unrealistic time constraints upon themselves
and get frustrated at “obstacles,” e.g., traffic signals,
stop signs, and the flow of traffic.
Create a No-Stress Zone – Play relaxing music
in your vehicle. Take on a Zen-like approach to driving by being
a “peaceful driver” instead of an aggressive one.
Overconfidence: The Driver’s Kiss of Death
– Are you too confident about your driving? Have you developed
some bad driving habits over the years? Perhaps a “driver’s
refresher course” could be helpful to you.
Do you want to be Right or Alive? – Drivers
need to put their ego “in the back seat” and not expect
that other drivers follow the rules of the road.