How Does Road Rage Affect Your Driving Skills and Judgment?

Carlos Kirby
· 4 min read
We've all heard news stories of horrific road rage incidents and marveled over how some people simply can't keep their emotions in check. It's highly likely that every single person who drives a car has experienced one or two bouts of road rage while we're behind the wheel. Not only do these incidents lead to increased insurance premiums, but they can also make signing up for a
new policy
What you might not be familiar with is how road rage not only affects your overall emotional health, but the impact it has on both your
driving skills
and your ability to use good judgment.
Road rage is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents.

What is road rage?

According to
, the first time the term road rage was officially used to describe a driving incident was in the early ‘80s when U.S. newscasters used the term while covering a highway shooting.
The phrase stuck and is now considered a blanket term that describes the surge of negative emotions that form a vortex that not only causes the driver experiencing them to make poor judgment calls but also results in some horrific traffic accidents and incidents.
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Why is road rage so common?

put together some truly alarming statistics that indicate road rage is far more common and dangerous than we might have believed. According to the site, eight out of 10 drivers go through periods of road rage, and that it's the leading cause of automobile accidents.
Approximately one-third of road rage incidents include firearms and two-thirds of all fatal accidents are due to the type of aggressive driving road rage triggers.
American Psychological Association
reports that studies exploring why some people are more prone to road rage than others are underway. They already know that male drivers, particularly teenage males, are more prone to road rage and are even more likely to be involved in an aggressive driving accident than female drivers and older male drivers.
It is believed that environmental triggers play a big role in why road rage is so common. Crowded roads, which are often hot, polluted, and slow-moving are the most common setting for road rage, particularly the extremely intense bouts of road rage that lead to shooting deaths and serious traffic accidents.
It's believed that drugs, stress, hormones, and alcohol could also play a role in many road rage incidents.

What impact can this have on our driving skills and judgment?

MORE: California Homeowners Get Revenge on Annoying Reckless Driver
The problem with road rage is that it impairs our otherwise good judgment and inspires us to make knee-jerk maneuvers that result in incredibly dangerous, aggressive techniques that can end in a fatal accident. The good news is that it appears that once drivers identify if they are prone to road rage episodes, they have the ability to turn things around.
In 1999, Tara Galovski, Ph.D., and Edward B. Blanchard conducted a study that
Science Direct
published. It revealed that treatment sessions significantly reduced the aggressive driving practices of drivers who were prone to road rage. The treatment sessions involved things like cognitive restructuring, stress-management practices, and deep relaxation techniques.
The 10 volunteers who took part in the study revealed that the treatment sessions reduced the number of aggressive driving incidents they were involved in by 64%. Most importantly, they revealed that three months after the conclusion of the treatment sessions, they continued to utilize safer, less aggressive, driving habits.
It's impossible to predict when you'll be sharing the road with someone who is in the deep throes of road rage. The best way to make sure you're protected by a sufficient auto insurance policy is using
to quickly gain access to multiple insurance quotes. It's the simplest and fastest way to get an insurance quote on the protection you need and deserve.

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