Certainly, the rise of automobiles has improved transportation throughout the world. Driving became a necessity of mankind to travel and to import goods and products. For some, driving can be a relaxing activity you can enjoy, especially when the road is wide and the sun is out.
However, in the last few decades, there is an observable increase in automobiles in streets resulting in crowding and congestion. And if you are always driving, chances are you have often encountered bad drivers, traffic jams, and roadworks.
Along with the frustration, you may feel stress and anger while driving. This is fairly normal and common for most people. Yet, if you find yourself engaging in aggression while on the road, you may be exhibiting road rage. Read further to know how counseling can help you overcome this behavioral problem.
What Is Road Rage
Road rage is an episode where an auto driver exhibits explosive anger due to the inconveniences on the road. It is seen as a form of retaliation against another incident or person while driving. Often, a raging driver believes that the other driver offended or wronged them. This makes them want to take revenge.
Road rage can manifest in actions like racing with or aggressively overtaking another driver. It can also be purposely cutting another person while they are changing lanes. It can also take the form of verbally abusing and assaulting the other driver, screaming, and shouting. However, the defining characteristic of road rage is the manifestation of underlying anger issues. Therefore, road rage can be seen in forms such as:
- Ramming intentionally
- Driving on sidewalks
Although road rage may be portrayed as scenes of drivers threatening each other, this may not always be the case. Historically, road rage has been linked to violence. According to the AutoVantage Club, approximately 37% of incidents involve firearms in the United States alone. In addition, an estimated 218 murders and 12,610 injuries in the last 7 years are associated with road rage.
Common Causes Of Road Rage
Road rage often comes from personal stress, which can be attributed to inconveniences experienced when driving. In addition, it may come from the environmental circumstances drivers face while on the road. Aside from these, there may be psychological stressors aggravating this episode. They may come from work, family, or other sources.
When drivers are stuck in their automobiles, for example, they feel not being in control of these circumstances. As a result, they tend to feel frustrated and upset, so they project these feelings on such aggressive activities. Here are some of the major causes of road rage:
- Being stuck in heavy traffic
- Being less apprehensive because of anonymity on the road
- Being distracted while driving
- Being extremely impatient
Oftentimes, road rage also comes from your initial reaction triggered by the behavior of others. Depending on your temperament, these can lead you to lose control of your behavior. It can result in inappropriate aggression when driving, especially when you cannot stay calm during uncontrollable instances.
How Counseling Can Help
Seeking help from a counselor or any type of mental health professional can help you deal with road rage. Like any form of behavioral problem, this event might be a form of underlying anger or anxiety disorder. The difference is that it manifests on the road.
Counseling can help you understand these causes and roots. They may examine your daily life and your psychological stressors. Your counselor will encourage you to openly discuss these stressors and guide you on dealing with them.
For instance, your anger may have come from frustrations in your married life. In this case, your counselor will focus on the specificity of your problems in marriage. In addition, they may ask to involve your family in counseling to help you develop a healthy coping mechanism.
Your counselor can also help you lessen the impact of road rage on your daily life. They may teach you basic anger management skills and techniques you can use. You can utilize these whenever you feel extremely frustrated, stressed, and out of control on the road. Here are some simple tips you can follow to be calmer when driving:
- Remind yourself to be calmer before driving
- Avoid engaging in silent competition while on the road
- Be polite towards your fellow drivers
- Gradually avoid tailgating other drivers
- Make visible gestures instead of yelling out the window
- Practice apologizing when you made a mistake on the road
- Use indicators to signal your fellow drivers about your next action
Consult a counselor when you have trouble staying calm when responding to your environmental stressors. Counseling can help you learn how to control your road rage so that you can function efficiently in multiple aspects of your life.