Road rage is a very real and very dangerous phenomenon. It can result in emotional pain, physical injury, and in the most extreme cases, even death. Encountering road rage can be a frightening experience for a disabled driver.

Driving can be a stressful experience for many people. Some especially highly-strung folks have a higher level of anger while driving and may explode in (road) rage when another driver does something that they disapprove of in some way. People who are prone to road rage typically take things very personally and deem the actions of other drivers to be personal affronts that simply cannot be tolerated, should not be happening, and must be avenged.

Being a highly-strung, violently simmering road-rager ready to boil over at any moment is not a fun way to be. Angry road-ragers experience a lot of pain and stress while driving. And, crucially, they can also be dangerous to the unfortunate others they come into contact with while on the road. 

It is also important to bear in mind that none among us are saints. We are all susceptible to stress, anxiety, and anger. Driving with a disability can be a stressful experience, and it is surely the case that none of us are immune to behaving badly when overcome by emotion. So let’s explore the phenomenon of road rage and find out why driving remains one of the most stressful daily activities.

Disabled Parking - highway driving
Image by marcusspiske on Pixabay: Highways can be stressful places.

Why Driving Remains One Of The Most Stressful Daily Activities

Driving is one of the most stressful daily activities for a whole host of reasons. There is a lot of pressure involved in driving. Let’s look at three big reasons…

  • A vehicle is a large, sometimes dangerous machine. Mistakes on the road can be, and on a daily basis are, fatal. This frightening fact can make driving inherently stressful for a lot of people.
  • When you are driving, you are not only dependent on your own sensible driving to keep you and your passengers safe; you are also dependent on other road users (people ranging from the most to the least responsible) to also behave sensibly. When this invariably does not always happen, it is easy to get stressed and anxious.
  • We live in a fast-paced world in which most people are experiencing chronic stress and strain. Car journeys are often about getting from A to B as quickly as possible because the kids delayed you at A and your angry boss is waiting at B! This just compounds the levels of stress found on the road.

What Is Road Rage?

Road rage is a violent anger (external or internal) caused by the strain and anxiety of driving a vehicle in stressful conditions.

What Is Driving Anxiety?

Driving anxiety is when a person experiences anxiety or fear that is brought on by driving. It can be a chronic condition or it can come on suddenly.

Why Is Driving Stress Dangerous?

Driving stress is dangerous because it can lead to erratic driving that can cause road accidents, injury, or even death.

Driving stress is also dangerous because stress in general has negative health consequences, and can lead to illness and disease.

How Does Anger Affect Your Driving?

Anger can affect your driving by making you:

  • Drive too fast
  • Drive erratically or aggressively
  • Tailgate
  • Lose control of your vehicle

Why Can Being Behind The Wheel Be Stressful For Disabled Drivers?

Being behind the wheel can be stressful for disabled drivers because they often have more equipment that they need to operate and be aware of while driving, such as various vehicle adaptations for disabled drivers. Disabled drivers also sometimes have physical conditions that could make a minor car accident more dangerous or make exiting their vehicle in an emergency more difficult.

Disabled Parking - car accident
Image by Rico_Loeb on Pixabay: Road rage can result in injury or death.

How Can I Make Driving Less Stressful?

You may now be wondering… “How can I reduce stress while driving?” Here are several ways to reduce driving stress:

  • Practice safe, defensive driving always and as a rule
  • Always leave plenty of time to get to your destination
  • Never take the actions of other road users personally
  • Before you drive, make sure you are well-fed, hydrated, well-rested, and calm
  • Make sure your vehicle is in great working order
  • View safe driving as an art form that you are dedicated to getting better and better at all the time!

Featured image by Orkun Azap on Unsplash