What Is It About Driving That Makes People So Angry?



BikeBikeBikeBike

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2015
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I noticed people who might normally be calm can becomes the angriest people ever once they get into a car.
I have even been effected by this, I will lose my mind when I drive.
Something about being in a car just increases the propensity for anger. The slightest of slight will be taken personally, road rage can consume even the most humble person.

The big question is WHY? What exactly is it about driving that turns us into snarling monsters?
 

niightwind

Member
Jun 28, 2015
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Canada
I've actually looked up information about this specific topic before. From what I've read, it seems to stem from anger built up elsewhere that gets taken out while driving. Being in a vehicle can give a sense of power; an "I OWN this road right here" sort of feeling, that can make it more tempting to take risks. There's also the big issue of time in general. Impatience. When we drive we usually have a destination in mind, and often a deadline. We want to get from point A to point B in a swift manner. But if someone is driving slower or otherwise holding you up it can be extremely aggravating.
It must be a really big problem, because there's even an article on WebMD about it.
 

Catsyo

New Member
May 6, 2015
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niightwind said:
I've actually looked up information about this specific topic before. From what I've read, it seems to stem from anger built up elsewhere that gets taken out while driving. Being in a vehicle can give a sense of power; an "I OWN this road right here" sort of feeling, that can make it more tempting to take risks. There's also the big issue of time in general. Impatience. When we drive we usually have a destination in mind, and often a deadline. We want to get from point A to point B in a swift manner. But if someone is driving slower or otherwise holding you up it can be extremely aggravating.
It must be a really big problem, because there's even an article on WebMD about it.
I buy this. Driving in our own individual cars makes it harder to feel like we're part of the world at large and can probably make certain people feel like they are the most important people out there.

Another reason is people are often driving not out of pleasure but out of necessity. Often drivers are trying to get to work, or they're trying to go run errands. Even if they're going to do something fun, they're not there yet. All these minor inconveniences start piling up and it's enough to cause someone to snap a little bit.
 

PennyS

Member
Jun 23, 2015
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I was thinking about this the other day. A few years ago I helped a friend with a research project and one of the things he found is that the worse the weather is, the *faster* people drive.

Now logically that makes no sense as worse weather means worse driving conditions,, which means you should be more careful and drive slower.

But then I realized people don't see the time the spend driving as really part of their life. The simply see driving as a chore they have to do to get from on place they spend their life, to some other place the spend their life. The do it fast and when weather is nasty they hate it even more and do it even faster.

I hope most cyclists have gotten over this mentality and realize that when it comes to life, the journeys are part of the journey -- and we should enjoy them, not just rush through them with anger and impatience.
 

Catsyo

New Member
May 6, 2015
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That's funny, around here traffic slows to a standstill at the first drop of rain or snowflake. It's pretty annoying. I get slowing down in inclement weather but not to this extent. Drivers here are weird though. We get a nice mixture of college kids from bigger cities who drive really fast and erratic and slow farmer types to drive really leisurely as they drift back and forth between lanes. Nobody uses turn signals. I'm so glad I don't drive here.

Actually, road rage is one of the reasons I'm glad I don't. It seems like so many of my friends get it when they're in their cars which seems really pointless to me.
 

CrowdedHighways

New Member
Jun 29, 2015
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I have never had this happen to me, in fact, driving a car makes me even more relaxed. I have wondered the same things, though, when my more reckless friends take me for ride. It makes me fear for my life haha.
 

lectraplayer

Member
May 11, 2014
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As a motorist myself, most of it for me is the way that nut job next to me is driving. The majority of motorists are safe and responsible with their equipment, but there seems to be that one who seems to be intent on positioning his back tire even with my front tire and pulling in on top of me with the apparant intent of running people off the road or causing a wreck. It's usually either a demolition derby competetor or a doctor or lawyer in a Mercedes or Ferraris that does this. Rarely is it the average F150 or the expected Charger. I haven't figured that out either.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
1,287
252
63
Over here, it is called road rage. There are countless of incidents that wasted lives due to altercation on the road by drivers of vehicles in conflict. There was one incident where 2 drivers fought for a parking space. The disadvantaged driver went down with a gun and shot the other driver who got the parking space. Another incident of shooting killed a pregnant woman, the wife of the driver who got in conflict with the killer. Those incidents, according to studies is an after effect of heavy traffic.
 

oam3292

New Member
Jul 15, 2015
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It's the cumulative dumbassery of the average driver that feed into people's rage. Hence why I bike to avoid most of the drama.
It's the cumulative dumbassery of the average driver that feed into people's rage. Hence why I bike to avoid most of the drama.
 

joshposh

Banned
Apr 16, 2015
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For me it was always about other drivers around me being reckless and quite frankly, dumb as hell. I can't help but get furious at people that put my life in danger because they think it's OK to drive recklessly. They put my life on the line and the lives of other people. What really pisses me off is when people are on the phone while driving. That is so dangerous.
 

Damien Lee

Well-Known Member
May 16, 2015
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I think it predominantly has to do with work and home stress. Most people that are driving motor cars tend to be middle class and are fighting for survival during tough economic times. Cost of living is increasing while more people are becoming redundant due to downsizing. Those that feel this the most are the middle class, as the poor people are unemployed and on welfare benefits, rarely do they drive a vehicle. Middle class workers seem to take out their personal and financial problems out on the roads which is a very dangerous situation.
 

Nukuhiva

Well-Known Member
Jul 14, 2004
129
50
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Gas stinks, exhaust stinks, that New Car Smell emanating from 100% man-made fibers stinks, all of them cause cancer in the state of California. Driver's licenses, registration papers, insurance cards, emissions certificates, maybe even safety inspection papers and freeway stickers not only cost money, they also very seriously dampen the 'freedom' self-propelled locomotion is supposed to give. If there are traffic jams, parking problems , maintenance and repair troubles, high gas prices and a myriad of other potential not-so-nicies, crankiness ensues.
Da boozed, da smoke & da 'smart'phone don't help none, neither.
 

Susimi

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
819
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I've noticed this A LOT. You could meet the most timid person you could ever meet. Kind, quiet, and never says boo to a goose, but once that person gets behind the wheel of a car they turn into a raging psychopath.

I've spent insomnia fuelled nights laying in bed staring at the ceiling trying to work this one out and the best solution I can come up with is maybe because when we are in a car we are in our own little space? Our own little world?
 

sunshiney

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
268
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Toronto
I think when you're driving it's easy to experience a similar sort of separation from the people around you as you do when you're talking to someone online. Like obviously they're real people but yelling and cussing them out from inside your car doesn't actually affect them in any way. They don't typically have any way to retaliate either so it feels like a 'safe' way to vent your anger.

Plus the only time you ever really notice someone else's driving is when it's bad so I think that contributes as well. Everyone else on the road seems like an idiot because the only ones that actually stand out are the idiots.
 

briannagodess

Member
Sep 15, 2015
99
14
8
My husband is always angry when driving because of two things:

1. Traffic - be it road reblocking, accidents or anything else, traffic is sure to get the best of you. This is especially true when you're in a rush and you're running late. Which my husband always is lol.

2. Reckless/Idiotic Drivers - This one drives my husband nuts! He always fights with drivers who seem to not know road rules and regulations. There are a lot of inconsiderate drivers here!
 

Steve Dawson

Member
Sep 18, 2015
35
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London
Driving a car is a fairly stressful time. In many areas theres just too much traffic, particularly at rush-hour times. Most people driving really just want to get to where ever they're going as soon as possible, rather than actually driving for the pleasure of it, and other road users can do dangerous and unpredictable things even in fine weather and low speeds. I stopped driving about 15 years ago and have never regretted it, I would turn into a nervous wreck after only a few miles through the chaotic, congested traffic in my town, even though I'm a laid-back person normally.
 

Carnold23

Member
Oct 14, 2015
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I think that the anger has to do with feeling powerful and in control with such a powerful machine.
This may be dorky, but I know when I drive I get a feeling of "I own this road".I know my husband does too. His road rage is out of control. I am trying to get him to work on it.
 

kuroba

Active Member
Aug 25, 2015
67
26
8
I've had my license for less than a year, but I try to keep my "zen" when driving, because it's a very stressful situation for me (since I'm a newbie and my eyesight is not perfect). Put some good music and just enjoy the ride. Sometimes other driver's recklessness gets on my nerves, but I try not to think much of it. We're all trying to get somewhere. I do see road rage on other people though.
 

tumblecycle

New Member
Oct 20, 2015
5
0
0
I think people get into a state of mind where their most important goal is to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Everything else is a distraction at best, and at worst an intentional offense to their right to be on the road at whatever speed/distance relative to you that they want. Car owners also feel a sense of entitlement regarding the streets--that bikes are almost taking something away from them simply because of their existence.
 

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