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Road rage takes place when someone acts out in traffic due to some or other violation committed against them. The roads in many countries are concrete jungles where lawlessness prevails. It is easy to understand why people become so enraged when someone else puts their life in danger, but there is actually a psychological aspect to this that must also be looked at. Perhaps you are someone prone to road rage, or someone who has been a victim of it. Either way, there must be a level of maturity if we are to avoid the sometimes dire consequences of road rage.
Which side can you relate to?
Road rage incidents have varying degrees of severity. Sometimes they can be seen in the form of vulgar language, while others result in full scale murder. Anyone that is on the road for a significant amount of time, has either experienced road rage or perpetrated it. Whichever side you have been on, road rage is understandable—albeit totally unnecessary and unproductive.
The bubble perception
People who get into their cars have subconsciously extended their personal bubble when doing so. Psychologists have often observed how road rage incidents are rooted in this ‘bubble’ perception. When we walk in a crowd, we dislike being bumped into or touched while walking. Being on the road is similar in that we disdain having other cars come too close to ours, or go in front of us when our cars were meant to go there first (like someone cutting us off or not stopping at a stop street long enough for us to go).
Why aggression is increased while driving
The two big differences between walking and driving are that driving is at a higher speed, and it takes up more space. For these reasons, road rage becomes more probable in driving than aggression while walking. Another aspect is the mild anonymity involved in driving. There is no face to face confrontation at first, so the two parties are a lot more brazen than they would be if they were simply walking past each other.
It is important to think before acting while on the road. If we take a few seconds to consider the consequences of our actions—instead of acting out impulsively—less of these incidents will escalate to the point that many do. Patience and courtesy should be two qualities we practice while driving. It keeps us and everyone else sane.