Road Rage


The global term Road Rage was invented by the US media to describe violent behaviour mainly directed towards another driver or their vehicle.

The origins of the phrase can be traced back to when it appeared in an article in the Los Angeles Times. An example of its use in print in 1988 can be found in an article in the Florida's St. Petersburg Times, which reads: "A fit of road rage has landed a man in jail, accused of shooting a woman passenger whose car had cut him off on the highway"

Psychologists refer to Road Rage and Aggressive Driving as a brief state of extreme anger and frustration. While Road Rage incidents in the UK "acts of actual violence or physical harm to a person or their vehicle" are thankfully rare; Aggressive driving is on the increase.

A driver's anger and aggression can be all-pervading and in certain circumstances can develop into what Psychologists refer to as "RED MIST". This psychological state can arise when a driver literally sees red because he believes an injustice no matter how small has been perpetrated against him PERSONALLY.  He can be so intent in chasing the offender that all rational thinking disappears and his capacity for risk assessment both for his own safety and that of other road users goes out of the window.

A major annual report by the RAC, Report on Motoring 2008: Twenty Years of Motoring, has revealed that aggressive driving is one of the biggest changes to happen to motoring over the last 20 years, ahead of Congestion, Roadwork's and Speed cameras.

We believe it is important to distinguish between Road Rage and Aggressive Driving. Therefore, because of media hype and misinterpretation, RoadDriver will only refer to a road rage incident when actual harm has been perpetrated on a person or their vehicle i.e. "A criminal act of assault under laws of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland".

Road Rage Tips and Advice Article No19  RoadDriver 2010

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