Anger Management and Road Rage

Road rage can become a deadly encounter for many.  For many anger comes quick and when that anger affects the response behind a 2 ton vehicle with a simple brake or turn of the wheel, then drastic things can occur.  Many are killed in accidents due to road rage.  While driving or on the side of the road, fights and violent attacks can take place..  It is important to control anger behind the wheel and be considerate of other drivers.   Anger has no place when driving.  Anger Management can play a key role in helping individuals manage rage while driving.

Anger on the road can lead to fatal endings. Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Certification


It can take very little to offset someone into road rage.  How one turns, lack of turn signal, or illicit use of the horn can reciprocate an angry response.  It is important to be mindful of these things when driving and practice proper anger management skills.

The article, “Controlling Your Anger on the Roads” by Sarah Landrum looks closer at the dangers of road rage and how to avoid it.  She discusses various ways one can better channel their anger while driving.  She also lists how defensive driving can help put individuals in better situations so potential road rage does not emerge.  Aggressive driving is a primary culprit in road rage.   She states,

“Aggressive driving confrontations may unfortunately escalate to incidents of aggressive — or even deadly — attacks, and anyone can be the victim. Children, parents, school teachers, even celebrities — accounts of road rage fill the headlines daily and the victims span the spectrum. Of course, you can’t always control the acts of others. However, it’s important to monitor your own behavior. If you find yourself becoming frustrated by other drivers, it’s time to take a deep breath. Redirect your anger. Consider these tips for controlling your anger on the road.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Controlling Your Anger on the Roads. Sarah Landrum.  October 25th, 2016. PsychCentral


Road rage can be defined as aggressive or violent behavior stemming from a driver’s frustration. This frustration can be caused by many things, such as heavy traffic, bad drivers, or stressful life events. When this frustration boils over, it can lead to angry outbursts and dangerous driving behaviors. Road rage is a serious problem because it puts everyone on the road at risk.  There are four primary types of road rage: verbal aggression, physical aggression, vehicle aggression, and indicators of aggression. Verbal aggression includes yelling, swearing, or making obscene gestures. Physical aggression involves any type of physical contact, such as pushing, shoving, hitting, or kicking. Vehicle aggression encompasses any dangerous driving behaviors, such as tailgating, cutting off other drivers, or braking suddenly.

Road rage is a very real phenomenon in the United States. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 66% of fatal car crashes involve some form of aggressive driving. This figure has been on the rise in recent years, and shows no signs of abating.  it is generally accepted that road rage is more common in urban areas than rural areas. This is likely due to the increased traffic congestion and stress that is associated with living in a city. Additionally, road rage is more likely to occur during rush hour traffic or when drivers are running late.

Reasons for Road Rage

There are a number of reasons that can contribute to road rage. One reason is the anonymity of being in a car. When people are driving, they can be more aggressive because they feel anonymous and removed from the consequences of their actions. Another reason is stress. People who are already stressed out are more likely to lash out when something else happens that adds to their stress, such as another driver cutting them off in traffic.  When people are already running late or feeling stressed, even a small delay can be enough to trigger an angry response.
Another reason for road rage is a sense of competition or territoriality on the road. Some people see driving as a test of skill and feel like they have to prove themselves every time they get behind the wheel.

Others feel the need to police the road and will attempt to correct or punish a driver who goes to fast, tries to pass or misuses a signal.  Lack of proper road etiquette can set others off against each other.  It is hence important to remember to follow the rules of the road, avoid competing, stop policing and mind one’s own business with good and safe defensive driving.  No one knows what another drive is capable of or willing to do to another driver.

Anger Management and Road Rage

Anger management refers to the process of recognizing and regulating one’s emotions, in order to prevent them from boiling over into negative behaviours, such as road rage.  Anger management prevents road rage by teaching people how to control their emotions. When people are angry, they may lash out and cause accidents. By learning how to control their anger, they can prevent road rage from happening.


Whatever may be bothering oneself, it is not worth road rage or the violence that can pursue it.  It is important to avoid being a victim of road rage via good defensive driving but it is also equally important not to become the source of it through aggressive driving or verbal insults.  Anger Management is key in preventing road rage and if someone has an anger issue, that person should then seek proper professional help to control one’ temper, especially while driving.

If you feel you have rage on the road, then please consider taking steps to prevent future road rage.  Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Consulting Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Anger Management.

Additional Resources

“What Causes Road Rage?”. Kaja Perina. June 10th, 2021.  Psychology Today. Access here

“Road Rage: How To Deal With It”. DMV.  Access here

“How to Manage Feelings of Road Rage”. Elizabeth Scott. January 19th, 2021. Verywellmind. Access here

“Measuring road rage: development of the Propensity for Angry Driving Scale”. Jason PDePasquale, Journal of Safety Research Volume 32, Issue 1, March 2001, Pages 1-16. Access here