Road rage begets more road rage
One angry driver can inspire a road full of angry drivers. A study published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention found that a driver who witnesses aggressive or hostile driving from another driver on the road is likely to respond by driving aggressively themselves.
The findings are based on an analysis of about 5,000 driver reports of “road rage” incidents between 1995 and 2007. Fifty four percent of the incidents involved cutting and weaving, 29 percent involved speeding and 25 percent were other hostile displays from aggressive drivers. The drivers who witnessed these incidents were more likely to drive aggressively themselves out of retaliation, which, in some cases, escalated into a hostile situation between multiple drivers.
Considering that road rage is believed to be a factor in almost half of all car crashes, the study authors recommend that drivers take a deep breath and stay calm rather than take their anger out on other drivers.