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Road Rage Essay, Research Paper

Road rage, what is road rage? Road rage or aggressive driving is when a driver is in danger of being injured or killed over a traffic dispute by another driver (Vest 24). People will show how anger and frustrated they are by giving people the finger, slowing down in front of people, cutting off other drivers, many other things, and who knows what they’ll do if they pull off the road to continue a fight with another driver. When some people drive it’s like they have a second personality, they’ll do anything to get where they’re going the fastest if that means killing someone some will. Aggressive drivers have killed 12,610 and injured more than 20 million people (Vest 25). Road rage is a big problem all over the world and some how needs to be stopped.

Aggressive drivers cause many crashes, hurt many people, and cause a big problem. Almost 90% of British drivers have been threatened or abused by other drivers even though British drivers are called the safest in Europe. About 21% of Britain drivers who drive for a living have been run off the road. A study in Australia shows that about half of the traffic accidents are caused by road rage (Vest 29). Two-thirds of 1996’s auto deaths involved aggressive driving (NHTSA, Glazer 651). About two hundred and fifty thousand people were injured in traffic since 1990 (AAA, Vest 25). Since 1990 about thirteen thousand people were injured or killed by aggressive driving, but these are the only ones in police reports and newspaper clippings. The real numbers of these crimes are probably very much higher (AAA, Levine 92). More than twenty million people were injured in traffic and twelve thousand six hundred and ten were related to aggressive driving (AAA, Vest 25). For all the crashes in any one year 6-7% of the nation’s drivers are responsible for them (Patrica Waller, Glazer 65).


1990 1129

1991 1297

1992 1478

1993 1555

1994 1669

1995 1708

1996 1800 predicted

(Morse 4)

In the first half of the decade road rage is up 51% (AAA, Ferguson 64). One of the reasons it is going up is because more people driving aggressively. 64% of people have said they are driving less courtesy and more dangerous than five years ago (Coalition for Consumer Health and Safety Poll, Ferguson 64). People will use many things to show their rage. 37% of them will use firearms, 28% will use some other kind of weapon, and 35% will use their car as their weapon (AAA, Vest 24-25). In some cities it is much worse than others are. In one study Americans are showed to be more likely to be killed by a car while walking than by a stranger with a gun (Completion of Environment and Pedatrial/ Cycling groups, Glazer 651). A big problem with aggressive drivers is that you don’t know how far that they’re willing to go to prove their point, get their way, or pay you back for what you did or what they thought you did.

Road rage is a terrible thing. It is the cause of many bade things. Researchers believe there is an increase of aggressive driving when a driver reacts angrily to other drivers (Vest 25). That means there are more and more people driving aggressively each day, week, month, and year. In the past twenty years the number of fatal traffic accidents with women drivers is up 18%. Women are also involved in a higher rate of nonfatal accidents than men are (Morse 2). Young women drivers paid about 46% above the base adult rate for auto insurance twenty years ago, while young men drivers paid about 187% above the base rate. Now day’s young male drivers pay about 185% above the base rates, and now women pay 115% above the base rate. But these rates will decline in time for them (Morse 2). Some of the effects of road rage are that it makes a lot of people very mad. When people get cut off, given the finger, tailgated, or beeped at it doesn’t make people very happy. It’s been getting so bad that in some neighborhoods many parents won’t let their children walk or bike to school because of dangerous drivers (Glazer 651). In some places, only a few years ago, people were afraid to enter downtown at night (Glazer 651). Communities have been ruined to move cars faster. Some think that designs guided by the standards have made deserted downtown’s and residential neighborhoods where crime is great because pedestrians needs have been ignored in favor of roads that are too wide, too fast, and encourage speeding (Blumenaner, Glazer 658-659). Some cities have lost their communities and neighborhoods because of motor vehicles (Wilkison, Glazer 651). That shows that a lot of people are effected by road rage.

The reason road rage is such a big problem is that many things cause it. There are different types of aggressive drivers out there. One of them is the Speeder, who’s trying to make good time. The Passive/Aggressor resist yielding to other drivers with a “try and make me” attitude (Dr. Larson, Levine 114). An aggressive driver can be anyone who is too stressed out and will snap. Personal frustration, anger, and testosterone are the most dangerous drugs on the highway (AAA, Levin 92). Now there are more kinds of road users out there. Streets were made for many drivers but accommodate a variety of driver groups with different skills, acuity, and emotional control. And, now it isn’t just one sex driving aggressively (Ferguson 67). Another reason for more road rage is that women are becoming more of aggressive drivers. But men are still more likely to be involved in road rage accidents than women are (Morse 2). The reason for some peoples behavior is that they’re running late and something happen that makes them mad (Glazer 655). Some people will do anything so never underestimate other drivers. Two thirds of drivers have reacted to frustrating situations aggressively. Almost half have deliberately braked suddenly, pulled close to another car, or done some other dangerous thing. The other one third have retaliated with a hostile gesture (Vest 28). It’s like if you raise a middle finger you’re playing Russian roulette (Levine 92). Another cause of road rage is that it is a danger to pedestrians. There is more and more traffic, roads have just increased one percent, and the miles driven are up 35%. Of fifthly metropolitan areas, almost 70% of urban freeways today are clogged to 55% in 1983 (Federal Highway Administration study, Vest 28). More traffic jams are predicted to spread into areas were it wasn’t before. Forty percent of Milwaukee County highway is predicted to be jammed up more than five hours a day by the year 2000 where there isn’t any at all now (Vest 28). Some of the problem is that job have sifted from cities to suburbs. Communities designed as residential areas with narrow roads now are busting with commercial traffic (Vest 28). People commuting account for 44% of all metropolitan traffic to 20% for suburb to downtown travel. Workers out on lunch break count for about one third of rush hour traffic. And now more people are driving than using mass transportation. In Washington D.C. two percent use the subway. In 1969 82.7% drove to work and in 1990 91.4% drove to work. Another reason is that women entered the work force and brought more cars on the road (Demographer and Edge City author Joel Garrean, Vest 28)

There are lots of solutions for road rage. Lots of them deal with change the behavior of people. Some solutions you can make up yourself. Like Doug Erber who sprays windshield-wiper fluid at people that tailgate him (Vest 28) But some doctors and specialist have designed ways to stop road rage, and ways people can stop getting involved in aggressive driving. One way is to make it socially unacceptable, like some places have made smoking and drinking unacceptable (Levine 93). You can avoid road rage by not taking your eyes off the road, avoid eye contact with people, keep calm, and keep away from drivers behaving erratically (Morse 5). Highway-safety experts and doctors are developing new ways to change both driving behavior and personal attitudes, by tougher enforcement of traffic laws, lessons in stress reduction, and education campaigns (Levine 93). Some say that such changes in private behavior must be coupled with more energetic efforts to stop aggressive driving (Levine 114). To stop road rage people need to reduce their stress. To reduce stress people should allow plenty of time for their trips, listen to soothing music, improve the comfort in your vehicle, and realize you can control traffic (Morse 4). You should be polite and courteous even if the other driver isn’t. Also assume other drivers’ mistakes aren’t personal and you should always try to avoid conflict with other drivers (Morse 4). But you should never underestimate some drivers. Just try and be patient and practice being courteous (Morse 4). If your being tempted to drive aggressive ask yourself if it’s worth it (Mores 5). Some cities are cracking down on road rage. They give more tickets, being harder, and working more. Some states are using drivers-Ed to help reduce road rage (Levine 114). The Federal Government is helping too, beginning special programs and spending more money on it (Ferguson 66). There are many solutions for road rage, but the hard part is finding the one that works.

There are many problems that come with road rage and many people have tried to stop it. It is one of the biggest problems because it consists all over the world. Many people have been injured or have been killed from aggressive driving and there will be more. That’s why it must stop.

Ferguson, Andrew. “Road Rage.” Time 12 Jan 1998: 64,66-68.

Glazer, Sarah. “Aggressive Driving.” CQ Researcher 25 Jul 1997: 651-652, 654-660.

Levine, Art. “How Angry Drivers are Putting you in Danger.” Redbook Mar 1997: 90-93,


Morse, Kenny. “Mr. Traffic Discusses Road Rage.”

Available.http://www.mrtraffic.com/rage.htm: (27 Mar 1998)

Vest, Jason, et. al. “Road Rage.” US. News and World Report 2 Jun 1997: 24-25, 28-30.


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