How does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment?

If you've been on the road for a long time, you may be wondering, “how does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment?” Road rage can cause drivers to make irrational and aggressive decisions behind the wheel, ultimately leading to car accidents and even fatal incidents. Teenage boys, people with stress-management problems, and people who use drugs and alcohol are most likely to experience road rage.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jan 28, 2022

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Road rage can negatively impact your driving skills and judgment behind the wheel in many different ways
  • More than 60% of traffic fatalities in the United States are caused by aggressive driving
  • The last 10 years have shown a 500% increase in reported cases of road rage

If you have been driving for any length of time — or if you’ve spent much time in the car as a passenger — you are probably very familiar with road rage. Have you ever wondered, how does road rage affect your driving skills and judgment? Countless people across the United States have experienced road rage and its effects. But road rage can be extremely dangerous and even deadly if not dealt with properly.

More than 80% of drivers have admitted to committing an act of road rage over the past year. While some of these actions do not result in a car accident, many of them do. Road rage can be an extremely dangerous experience, and it harms countless people.

When you are searching for car insurance, you can expect to pay higher-than-average rates if you have been caught committing an act of road rage. This is especially true if you have been involved in a car accident as a result of your actions.

Be sure to use our free quote tool above to find and compare car insurance from top companies in your area. 

How does road rage affect a driver?

Road rage can impact a driver in a lot of different ways. Typically, road rage affects drivers by impairing their ability to think clearly and use sound judgment. Instead, drivers who experience road rage tend to make split-second moves that are both unintelligent and dangerous. 

Road rage is often seen as a result of stress on the road. Areas that are crowded and slow-moving are the most common spots to see road rage. This is often why busy cities are considered a common location for road rage activities.

The most common symptom of road rage is irrational and aggressive decisions behind the wheel. While there is no road rage driving test a person can perform to check and see if they are experiencing road rage, drivers can take stock of their attitudes, their heart rates, and their anxiety levels to help decipher whether they are experiencing road rage behind the wheel.

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Who is most likely to experience road rage?

No one is immune to road rage, and virtually everyone who drives can experience the feeling. But there are some studies that show that male drivers — especially teenagers — are more likely to be involved in aggressive driving accidents as a result of road rage.

Some scientists argue that environmental triggers, like the crowded areas mentioned earlier, can be huge causes for road rage incidents. Because crowded roads are often polluted and hot, people who are on them during rush hour may be more prone to commit road rage-related blunders than people who drive in open spaces and are not overcrowded.

In addition to these scenarios, people who use drugs or drink excessive amounts of alcohol may be more prone to road rage. While some people believe they can maintain safety and composure behind the wheel, this is often not the case.

For example, some drivers believe that drinking coffee after drinking alcohol cancels the alcohol’s effects and lowers their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. But science has proven that this can be a dangerous scenario once a person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. 

People who are often stressed out and people with specific hormonal imbalances can also be more likely to experience road rage than others. For example, while most drivers know a diamond-shaped sign is a warning on the road and will slow down, some who are highly stressed may see them as simply irritating and make irrational decisions because of that. 

How can I avoid experiencing road rage?

Road rage can be dangerous and even deadly, so we should do everything we can to avoid experiencing it altogether. You can avoid becoming a contributor to road rage by doing the following: 

  • Develop stress-management practices for everyday scenarios
  • Choose relaxation techniques for your workday and your commute
  • Give yourself extra time during your commute in case traffic is slow
  • Practice deep breathing during stressful moments of your commute
  • Avoid multitasking while driving
  • Avoid talking on the phone or texting while driving

These techniques may help you avoid experiencing road rage and ultimately save your life and the lives of others on the road. You can also be offered safe driver discounts if you haven’t been in any accidents or have a clean driving record. 

What if I got in an accident because of my road rage?

If you were in an accident as a result of your road rage, the first thing you need to do is check to be sure everyone is alright. Once the scene of the accident is cleared up, you will likely have fines you need to pay, and other things have to do as a result of being found at fault.

In time, you can expect your car insurance rates to increase as a result of your road rage. Insurance companies pay close attention to your driving record. If an accident shows up on your record, or if you file a claim as a result of the accident, your car insurance company is likely to increase your monthly rates.

You may still be able to find cheap car insurance after a road rage incident, but you will need to shop around for coverage and compare quotes from multiple companies. This will help you make sure you are not overpaying for car insurance. 

In fact, you can use our free quote tool below to find and compare quotes from top car insurance companies in your area today. 

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