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Choosing Alternatives to Road Rage

By Hannah Slattery, LPC, NCC

During the pandemic, you might not have been driving as much, at least to and from work. So, you might have forgotten about potential stressors of being in the car such as having to deal with traffic, constantly filling up your car, or finding the perfect music station or podcast to listen to to pass the time. Now that other parts of life are slowly but surely returning to normal, it's possible that stresses associated with driving might also be returning to your life. Even if you never worked from home, there are just more people on the road than 6 months ago.

The oxford dictionary defines road rage as violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.

Depending on the length of your work commute, amount of extracurricular activities, or grocery shopping excursions you have to go on a day, you might find yourself spending a lot of time in your vehicle. Just like our home, it’s important to make our car a safe and comfortable space. However, a lot of time, we end up creating a toxic environment. Others around us on the road might not be driving as fast as we would like them to or driving in the appropriate lane or being distracted by their phone or their passengers. This can cause us to get upset and test our ability to stay calm. When we become irritated at other drivers, we risk the safety of ourselves, the people in our vehicle, as well as the other drivers. We also might find ourselves screaming at the little old lady in the car next to us because we were trying to get into that lane. This is severely exhausting and if it is during your morning commute, you haven’t even gotten to work yet!

Here are some shocking statistics that might make you think differently about letting out that road rage:

  • About one third of Collisions Involve Road Rage

  • 66% of Traffic Fatalities Are Caused by Aggressive Drivers

  • Road Rage Leads to 30 Murders Per Year