Wednesday, January 25, 2012 @ 02:01 PM
Why do people drive in an aggressive way?
Why do people get angry at other peoples poor driving?
From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggressive_driving
These are two questions that I have given much thought over the last few years and I have overcome road aggression issues.
Imagine, you are driving along a road, and someone from a side road cuts you up! First of all, you have every right to be annoyed, as this individual could have endangered your life, and your family’s life.
When you get angry your brain produces adrenaline, a hormone that explains the fight or flight mechanism. So people will react differently to the situation.
So, the person cuts you up, and you go ballistic at them, flashing your lights, tailgating and generally driving erratic yourself. When something has already happened, it happened, there is nothing we do can to change that particular instance that happened, at that moment. The person that cut you up may not have done it intentionally, they could have been completely unaware of your presence. Perhaps they had a disability, a family member was in need, pregnant wife and so on. Here is an interesting point though; would you of been as annoyed if an emergency service vehicle had cut you up, say a Fire Engine, racing to a house fire…what would your reaction of been then?
These kind of questions fascinate me. The cause is the same, whether a fire engine or a person in a car, or bike cuts you up, but we react differently based on what the type of vehicle it is, rather than the event itself. How interesting?
If someone cuts me up, I am totally fine, calm and relaxed. My reason is because, if I get irritated, then that is clearly my own issue and problem for being angry. Also, by becoming irate, you then act, in a similar behaviour, to that of the other driver – by driving irate yourself. For example, in a different scenario, if a baby is crying and you get angry at that baby for crying, it is not the baby’s problem, but your own self-ability to deal with the situation. I hope that makes sense :) So in theory you then become an aggressive driver yourself!
So, how would this of helped the situation? If you agree, I would say it has created another dangerous and aggressive situation on the road. One that we could do without perhaps!
Stay safe out there :)