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Dr. Helen

What Are the Biggest Road Rage Triggers?

May 24th, 2014 - 3:49 pm

Now, with Memorial Day and summer approaching, more people are taking to the road. According to this article at CNBC, road rage is just around the corner and these common triggers are sending people over the edge:

“As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day sees a huge spike in the number of drivers on the road,” said Expedia General Manager John Morrey. “The rule, as with airplanes and hotels, is that shared spaces demand decorum and attentiveness.”

Despite the fact that almost every state has a law against texting while driving, the risky act is still unpleasantly common. It was rated by 69 percent of the drivers surveyed as the activity most likely to get their blood boiling. …

A close second on the list? The tailgater, who seems to think that by riding 3 feet off the bumper of the car ahead of them, they’ll somehow get to their destination quicker. About 60 percent of the respondents listed that as a top road-rage trigger.

Multitaskers; drifters, who can’t settle into one lane; and crawlers, who bump along at well below the speed limit, rounded out the top five.

Other road-rage inducing behaviors included the swerver, who will suddenly change lanes or turn without signaling, and left-lane hogs.

Curiously, the report found that 69 percent of those surveyed have been “flipped off” by another motorist for some perceived slight—but only 17 percent of those who responded to the study said they have ever extended the rude hand gesture.

Interestingly enough, last week I watched as a male pedestrian walked into oncoming traffic in the middle of an intersection and flipped everyone off while slowly crossing numerous lanes of traffic. All of the cars stopped even though the light was green and drivers gave him plenty of leeway to make it safely to the other side. I think everyone seemed to know he was mentally ill or drunk and gave him a wide berth. No one even honked. So I guess that in some situations, people respond politely and in others, they don’t.

Maybe if someone is obviously “crazy,” people give more of a pass, and if they are just rude, they don’t as much. Or maybe there is something about a heavy vehicle being thoughtlessly driven that is much more infuriating than a lone person walking who is thoughtless about their own safety.

What are your road rage triggers, if any?

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Top Rated Comments   
Men and women do it differently:

1. Pull up to ATM
2. Insert card
2a. car still in gear
3. Enter PIN number and account
4. Take cash, card and receipt
4a. pull ahead while shovin' all in shirt pocket

1. Pull up to ATM
2. Check makeup in rearview mirror
3. Shut off engine
4. Put keys in purse
5. Get out of car because you're too far from machine
6. Hunt for card in purse
7. Insert card
8. Hunt in purse for wrapper with PIN number written on it
9. Enter PIN number
10. Study instructions for at least 2 minutes.
11. Hit "cancel"
12. Re-enter correct PIN number
13. Check balance
14. Look for envelope
15. Look in purse for pen
16. Make out deposit slip
17. Endorse checks
18. Make deposit
19. Study instructions
20. Make cash withdrawal
21. Get in car
22. Check makeup
23. Look for keys
24. Start car
25. Check makeup
26. Start pulling away
27. STOP
28. Back up to machine
29. Get out of car
30. Take card and receipt
31. Get back in car
32. Put card in wallet
33. Put receipt in checkbook
34. Enter deposits and withdrawals in checkbook
35. Clear area in purse for wallet and checkbook
36. Check makeup
37. Put car in gear, reverse
38. Put car in drive
39. Drive away from machine
40. Travel 3 miles
41. Release parking brake.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
A fading Obama sticker plus various other leftist idiocy gets to me about as quick as anything.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Spandex covered narcissist bicyclists who run red lights, stop signs, take up the whole lane when it suits them, who then ride up between cars or on the shoulder to pass all of the traffic waiting on the light/stop sign, who are then stuck behind Mr Spandex-butt for another block because he wants the lane for himself again.

More so because they vote to reduce a 4 lane street to 2 lanes and a bike path, jacking up traffic for miles and hours.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (77)
All Comments   (77)
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the person that will not go into the intersection to make a turn, when there is a green arrow, and then left turn yield to traffic. and you have to wait through an extra traffic sequence because the idiot doesn't know how to drive.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Helen, I get angry at stupidity in highway construction projects. The first thing a highway construction contractor seems to do is tear up as much pavement as possible. I've heard that by starting demo work everywhere at once, the contractor makes sure they get paid. A better contract would specify finishing sections before tearing up another section of road.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
For me the tailgating is the worst. However, I ease up on the gas w/o braking and just slow down enough so they finally pass me. Just be advised that some of them will pull in suddenly in front of you, so when they are almost past me I do use the brakes.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The male you observed was doing the "A**h*** Stroll, most commonly done by black males in urban areas.

I first saw this in Texas, and that the "stroller" left a gap for me to get by absolutely enraged him when I did just that.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many of the above are classics and they certainly annoy me too but here's one I don't think I saw; I'm travelling along a surface street and someone who can clearly see me coming. If he has any awareness of the time it takes for my car to close the distance with me doing the speed limit knows he should wait until I pass but squirts out in front of me anyway, forcing me to brake and then proceeds not to accelerate smartly away but rather oozes up to speed.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The CNBC report sounds fake to me. The things they listed as the top road-rage instigators reads like a politically-correct list from transportation officials.

The real road rage instigators are two things:

1) nearly causing a wreck.

2) being in the way.

People don't get road rage over some ditz yakking on her cell phone or texting while driving, unless she nearly hits them because of it. But "near accident" road rage is still pretty uncommon, because mostly people decide to get away from the reckless drivers, which is the opposite of Road Rage where the rager tries to intimidate the other driver with the proximity of their vehicle. .

Road rage mostly comes from someone just plain being in the way. The left lane hogs, the people who can't drive at a consistent speed or stick to one lane, the people who meander through intersections, the people who leave weird gaps in traffic, the people who, like Old Bathos said, screw up the flow.

We share the roads. That means we're going to be in each other's way. Courtesy requires trying to minimize our impact. People who trigger road rage aren't trying to minimize their impact.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live on Long Island, NY I am originally from NYC. People on the Island are the slowest people in the world when starting to move when the light turns green. I have been the equivalent of a block away, seen the light turn green - and then had to slam on my brakes because neither of the TWO cars sitting there has seen fit to move yet! The only thing worse, is being behind a truck as the novice driver tries to get it into gear!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nothing irritates me worse than people dragging along in the left lane. I don't care what the posted speed limit is, if you're in the left lane you better be passing the traffic to the right, and if you're not then you need to move back over to the right. The left lane is for passing, full stop.

I've also had situations on a windy 2-lane country highway popular with bicyclists. Look, it's one thing if you're an individual cyclist or a small group, but when you rove around in packs of literally 30+ you're asking for road rage directed at you. You cannot pass a group that large, not on a curvy road that is mostly double yellow lines. I also happen to know that these cyclists thoroughly enjoy the fact that they're irritating drivers. It's part of the smug elitism that goes with the whole "what a healthy eating exercise fanatic I am" set. There's a cloud of smug lingering over those roving packs of spandex.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh and how could I forget this one: people who leave enormous gaps between cars when turning at a left green arrow. I see people in front of me making the turn with like 3 or 4 car lengths between them and the car in front. What's the deal with that? We could probably get twice as many people turned during the short green arrow if not for this.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's been said, but I would like to chime in.
1) The Left Lane traffic hogging losers.
2) The brake pumper. Always tapping it and making you think you missed something.
3) Makeup applying woman with the rear view mirror rocked down on them.
4) Prius owners who drive like 90 MPH and think they are saving the planet.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
How do we feel about pedestrians who can see that traffic is heavy and back-up waiting to turn onto the street through the cross-walk and saunter slowly slowy in the sunshine while smirkng and/or maintaining eye contact with the driver who wants to turn (and the 3 or 4 or 5 cars behind the first driver who also can't move ahead)?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
They could easily solve that problem with 3 way lights, green for one way, then green for the other way, then all you pedestrians go!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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