According to Behavioral Psychologists, Drís Leon James and Diane Nahl,
drivers inherit the seeds of aggressive driving from their parents and the
The researchers also conducted a survey that targets aggressive drivers and
their driving habits. Their findings are contained in the book Road Rage and
Aggressive Driving Steer Clear of Highway Warfare. The Drís agree that
aggressive driving is a cultural norm that is generationally transmitted as a
habit instilled in children when they ride with their parents and reinforced by
repeated media portrayals of drivers behaving badly.
There appears to be a connection between traffic, anger and kidís safety.
The Urban Mobility Study conducted at Texas Transportation Institute shows that
Chicago is the third most congested metropolitan area in the nation and that the
average travel speed on the Illinois highways have decreased 10 miles/hour over
the past ten years causing the increase in congestion.
It appears that the longer periods in the car result in an increase in
aggressive behavior. When parents drive longer periods with their children,
tempers begin to flair. Children arenít usually aware of the severe road rage
incidents but are present in everyday occurrences. Children can see the parent
loosing their cool and they can hear parents honk the horn, swear or threaten
Aggressive driving is becoming a way of life for many of our nationís
drivers. Many people are not prepared to manage personal stress and a
provocation in traffic. There is a formula for road rage:
More cars, less space, more driver interaction, add cultural norms of
disrespect condoning hostility equals aggressive driving and road rage battles.
Parents can change the pattern of aggressive driving and foster good driving
habits in their children.
Here are some ways to be less hostile behind the wheel:
Remember it takes two to make a fight. Do not respond to another driverís
If you feel yourself getting angry in traffic count to ten, take deep breaths
or hum a favorite tune.
If you fall into a hostile exchange, know damage control learn to swallow
your pride and back off.
Do not see other driverís bad habits a personal affront to you. Everyone
can make mistakes behind the wheel.
Do not declare war against another driver. This will escalate road rage such
as: Honking your horn, offensive hand gestures, yelling, foul language,
tailgating, cutting off other drivers, racing or chasing another driver.
Remember it is the parentís responsibility to
teach their children good driving habits at a young age. Donít wait until they
are of driving age. Children learn very early on what is acceptable behavior and
what is not. Do not teach them that good manners and being polite is off limits
in the car.