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The potential psychology behind road rage accidents

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Road rage is incredibly dangerous and can cause car accidents. If you’re ever around a driver who appears to be experiencing a road rage episode, it is wise to keep your distance.

But you may also find yourself wondering why it happens. People tend to act very irrationally during road rage in a way that they may never act if you were speaking to them face-to-face. What are some of the potential psychological reasons behind this?

Personal territory

One thing that has been cited as a potential reason is that people feel that they own the space around their car. It is their territory. If someone invades that territory, perhaps by tailgating or driving too slowly ahead of them, they react emotionally.

Essentially, it makes it feel more like a personal slight. They are less likely to think that someone else just made a driving mistake, as everyone has done from time to time. Instead, they feel as if that person has intentionally or negligently endangered them personally and has not respected their right to that territory.

In this sense, vehicles also create a type of distance. It is similar to the way that people will sometimes speak on the Internet, being aggressive or rude in ways that they would never vocalize out loud if they were having the same conversation at church or in a grocery store. Being in a car creates a false sense of distance from those around them, and some people will act more aggressively and outside of social norms.

Have you been injured?

Unfortunately, road rage continues to happen and you could be injured by a driver who is experiencing it. If you are, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.