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Anger can be very quick, powerful, reactive, and can make us do things we typically wouldn’t do.There is nothing inherently wrong with anger as an emotion, but nowhere is anger less helpful, more common, and potentially more dangerous than when we are behind the wheel of a car. There are, of course, extreme examples of violence and assaults on the roads that end up in the courts, hospitals, and the media.
On the other, research has demonstrated our various cognitive functions, such as attention, reasoning, judgement and decision-making, can be impaired by anger.
The result is a perception of lower risk, a greater willingness to take risks, and cognitive effects that actually increase the risks. So there is a strong public health rationale for the development and promotion of interventions to reduce driving anger and incidents of road rage.
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The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
This includes changing anger-evoking cognitive patterns or faulty thinking (such as those interpretations listed above), learning relaxation coping skills for when anger is aroused, and finding strategies to solve difficult situations on the road and de-escalating anger so our choices are less aggressive and more safe.
You’re running late for an appointment and hit a traffic jam. Aggressive driving can take many forms, like tailgating, weaving and speeding.This type of driving makes motorists mad becausethey know that the driver that has just cut in front of them has seen the construction signs and were well aware of the lane closures.But they still decided to wait to the last minute to get over.Fortunately, there is emerging evidence that psychological interventions hold hope for angry drivers.A recent review found evidence supporting cognitive and behavioural interventions to reduce and manage driving anger.The road construction on the major interstates adds to lane closures and distractions to motorists.A motorist is driving the speed limit and then immediately has to slam on their brakes because another motorist sees the lane closures and decides to cut in front of them.Some slam on the brakes, jump out of their cars, open the trunks and grab anything that they get their hands on.Others use baseball bats, knives, mace, pepper spray, fists, or some simply pull out a pistol and start firing away.Why are these drivers turning their anger and frustrations into road rage and what solutions can we find to stop this road rage?Some say that one of the main causes of aggressive driving which usually leads to road rage is highway congestion.