PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new survey by AAA estimates that 80 percent of drivers have taken part in some form of “road rage.”
Many drivers have felt frustration at some point behind the wheel.READ MORE: ACLU, Voter Groups Sue In Ohio Over New Legislative Maps
“It can go anywhere from hand gestures, aggressive driving, where you won’t let that person merge,” Sgt. Terry Donnelly, of Pittsburgh Police Traffic Enforcement. “It can be a verbal confrontation all the way up to a physical confrontation.”
The survey found almost 80 percent had acted out aggressively behind the wheel over the last year. Some of the top responses of aggressive behaviors in the survey were purposefully tailgating another vehicle, yelling, honking their horn or a hand gesture.
That’s four out of every five drivers.
But what is it on the road that makes so many drivers angry?
“It sends fear through us, and all that adrenaline flows; and then with all that energy, we don’t know what to do with it, so we lash out,” says Dr. Christian Conte, a psychologist and anger management specialist.
In part, he says because we take it personally.
“It’s that they did this to me,” says Dr. Conte. “So we take it personally, and I think that’s where we go wrong.”READ MORE: Pennsylvania Food Banks Team Up With DoorDash To Deliver Free Meals To Seniors
He says it’s important to remember all drivers are human.
“It’s a person, they could be in a hurry to the hospital or something, so remember, it’s a person in the car,” says Dr. Conte.
He also says we hold other drivers to a different standard.
“If I cut someone off, it’s, ‘Hey, no big deal,’” says Dr. Conte. “But if they cut me off, it’s, ‘How dare you do this to me.’”
Dr. Conte also points out road rage is on you. He says anger will blossom more anger, “versus saying, ‘It’s okay; it’s not the end of the world. I can handle it.’”
Sgt. Donnelly also has some advice.MORE NEWS: PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro Files Brief Saying Health Secretary Has Power To Mandate Masks In Schools
“Take the extra five seconds, let them get away from you, and continue on your way,” he said.