Do people need help with anger because of road rage?
Perhaps the first place to decide if people need help with anger is by looking the prevalence of road rage. Statistics released by three recent studies suggest that it has become almost commonplace.
One road rage investigation, conducted by Response Insurance, indicated that 50% of drivers respond with anger or aggression to being cut off or tailgated. More specifically, 34 percent of drivers report honking their horn at the aggressor, 27 percent yell, 19 percent give the finger, 17 percent flash their headlights, and 7 percent mimic the initial aggressive driving behavior. Two percent of drivers admit to trying to run the aggressor off the road. Because this study is self report my guess is that it underestimates the number of people needing help with anger.
The study also revealed that men are more likely to respond with road rage than are women (54% vs. 46%), as are drivers 18-24 years of age (67%) versus drivers 65 and older (30%). Drivers with children are more likely to respond with anger or aggression (59%) versus those without children (45%) as are cell phone users (59%) versus those who do not use a cell phone while driving (39%). These results suggest that angry drivers may have different anger personalities they use when expressing their ire.
While men in general reported feeling a sense of anger more frequently than women, it was the younger men who proved to be the most likely to need help with anger when driving. Fifty-six percent of the men surveyed said they experienced road rage of some sort on a daily basis versus 44 percent of the women. More men also admitted to retaliating against others when they felt angry or provoked (Dr. Driving.org).
In a similar study, National auto discount club Auto Advantage administered a survey to determine which cities have the most angry or aggressive drivers. According to the survey, that honor belongs to Miami, Fla. The researchers hypothesized that this may be due to the fact that Miami has a very diverse, dense population, including a large community of senior citizens whose driving style may clash with their younger counterparts.
The other four cities rounding out the top five in road rage statistics included New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and my home town, Washington, D.C.
The city with the calmest drivers was found to be Portland, Or., with Pittsburgh, Seattle, St. Louis and Dallas/Fort Worth rounding out the top five.
Taken together, these studies suggest that a number of drivers need help with anger and would likely benefit greatly from anger classes specifically directed at road rage.