Raging Down the Road

Noah Stults, Columnist

Driving can be a frustrating task for many people. You are cruising down the road when, suddenly, someone cuts you off, evoking a wave of unrestrained wrath. You were in a good mood just moments ago, but somehow your emotions have spiraled out of control. Believe it or not, there is actually a rational explanation for this type of reaction.

One reason people can get angry at the wheel is due to goal-blocking. When you are in a car, you have a goal: to get from point A to point B; when someone gets in your way, you tend to get upset. Anything on the road can result in a delay in your plans—things like stop lights, stop signs, other drivers, and bad roads. Psychology Today states that when you are already late for something, you tend to get even more angry. The more important the goal, the worse those instances of goal-blocking become, and the more furious we get.

Another reason why driving has the potential to drive us crazy is because of the fact that there are unwritten rules in driving. In our society, we have things such as stop lights and speed limits, but few people actually obey them to the letter. For example, even though the speed limit may be 50 miles per hour, most drivers go 60 miles per hour because everyone else is; following the law in this instance can actually leave you in more danger. Psychology Today says everyone has their own tweaked set of rules, and when others don’t follow their personal rules, it can be infuriating.

Angry driving is something that is totally normal and is something almost everyone experiences. However, it’s no excuse to be rude to other drivers or endanger both yourself and others, so next time you’re in the car, think before you shout.