Road Rage: A common phenomenon?

Posted on August 18, 2016

Photo: flickr

Researchers from the Center for Accident Research and Road Safety–Queensland in Australia presented the first study to explore the relationship between moral disengagement—detaching from one’s usual code of behavior—and angry driving. The researchers found that moral disengagement was a stronger predictor of aggressive driving than driving anger itself. That is, drivers with higher tendencies to morally disengage may respond to others more aggressively on-road.

Some research suggests that the most extreme road rage behavior may have a different cause altogether than the much more common aggressive driving. Specifically, the people involved in road rage incidents may come closer to fitting the criteria for intermittent explosive disorder, a psychiatric condition described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, the American Psychiatric Association’s encyclopedic guide to mental illness.

For the rest of us, the combination of the seemingly private domain of our automobiles and the publicly shared highway can be a contributing factor. People tend to behave less aggressively in public because there are social cues to follow, but those cues may not count for much when we’re sitting in our car, listening to our music or talking with a member of our family. And if someone cuts us off, we just might take it very personally, and thus respond with territorial aggression.

To read the full article, click on the link below.

Category(s):Anger Management

Source material from Scientific American

Mental Health News