Published on December 21, 2023

Main Causes of Road Rage

With over 240 million licensed drivers across the United States, the streets are flooded with people driving from place to place. As drivers contend with stress, impatience, and traffic, road rage prevails amongst drivers. Road rage can be very problematic as it results in aggressive and dangerous driving behaviors that put all drivers at risk on the road. Uncovering what some of these main causes of road rage are is important in understanding this increasingly popular phenomenon.

What is Road Rage?

As defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), road rage is “the operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property.” Road rage can be exhibited in a number of ways, including:

  • Speeding
  • Yelling obscenities or honking
  • Sideswiping
  • Throwing objects
  • Tailgating
  • Running red light
  • Swerving in and out of lanes


Undoubtedly, no one enjoys being stuck in traffic, as it can be extremely frustrating and time consuming. In a bustling city, a drive that could take just 20 minutes could easily turn into an hour ordeal. Unfortunately, there is not all that much you can do if you wind up in traffic other than sit in it. While you could take an alternative route, chances are it will take just as long, if not longer, to get to your destination. Furthermore, being stuck in traffic can be very triggering to those prone to road rage. 


Stress is another big component of road rage. Not only can you be affected by stress from external factors such as work, school, or financial situations, but stress can also be triggered while driving. When you are stressed, your body is in a constant state of fight or flight, and this can be translated to the way in which you drive. For example, if you are stressed out while driving, your body may prepare for danger and cause you to make irrational decisions.


The role of anonymity while driving is another factor that influences road rage. While individuals are driving on the road amongst hundreds and thousands of other drivers, it is quite easy to feel as though you are just another car. More likely than not, you won’t know the drivers around you, nor will you ever see them again. This feeling of being anonymous can be empowering to individuals, as they feel less of a responsibility to drive safely.

Mental Health Conditions

Pre-existing mental health conditions can also influence one’s tendency to have road rage. For example, if an individual has been diagnosed with having anger issues, it is likely that they will act upon these feelings while on the road. Additionally, if an individual has been diagnosed with anxiety, driving on busy roads can be anxiety-provoking, causing them to exhibit erratic driving behaviors to cope with the anxiety they may be experiencing. 

Dangers of Road Rage

Driving with road rage can be extremely dangerous to all individuals on the road. Unsafe driving practices induced by road rage are likely to result in serious, and even fatal, car accidents. If you find yourself a victim of a car accident caused by road rage, it is crucial that you seek legal assistance from an experienced Denver car accident lawyer who can help guide you through the intricate legal process. Road rage is a serious concern that all drivers must be wary of as they drive on the road.

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