We've all experienced road rage in one form or another. You might have been on the receiving end of another driver's anger for some perceived slight, watched two cars swerving around and brake-checking each other in traffic, or sat in the passenger seat as your vehicle's driver blared the horn repeatedly at some inconsiderate jerk. You might have even been having a bad day and taken it out on someone who cut you off or flipped you the bird.
The road rage phenomenon has been studied extensively, and while it may seem like little more than a harmless tantrum, it can quickly escalate into car crashes, fistfights, and gunshots. Research has shown that there is a “direct linear increase” in road rage incidences as temperature rises, so it's especially relevant as we enter spring and summer.
You never know if the guy you just honked at might be an ax-wielding nutcase ready to lash out. So, it's important to understand the demographics and warning signs of road rage, and have a plan to de-escalate or escape the situation. The following infographic shows some of the physiological and emotional effects of road rage — click here for a full-size version.
While the last portion of this infographic includes some good info on how to calm down and avoid being guilty of road rage, it doesn't really address how to deal with it when you're on the receiving end. Here are some tips to consider the next time you become a victim of road rage:
For more info on road rage, check out this article from J.D. Power on Aggressive Driving and Road Rage.