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Understanding the factors behind road rage

The summer driving season is about to come to a climatic end in a few weeks. The Labor Day holiday weekend is traditionally the last holiday of the summer, so millions of Americans take to the road to get to their favorite destinations; especially if they did not get to do so during Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July.

 As we have noted in prior posts, holiday weekend travel can be treacherous. There is a higher volume of traffic, which contributes to the higher incidence of accidents.  Further, heavy traffic can wear on a person’s nerves, so it may lead to road rage incidents.

 While you may not be so concerned with road rage, it is important to understand the factors behind road rage. This post will explore a few.

Street design – Streets that are not designed to handle high traffic volumes, but ultimately do, may contribute to the frustration that leads to road rage. People who are stuck in traffic are more likely to make moves that irritate other drivers and contribute to an incident.

 Personality traits – The two personality traits that are commonly seen in road rage incidents include drivers who are largely anti-social and hostile, and those who are highly competitive.

 Age and demographics - Research suggests that the most likely group of drivers to be involved in a road rage incident are poorly educated men under the age of 30 who drive high performance vehicles. This group is more likely to disobey traffic laws and lack the impulse control that can lead to irrational acts. 

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