12+ Clear Signs Of Roadrage

By Lynsey 8 months ago

Being in the Car

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Road rage can't be road rage unless you're in a car or any form of automotive vehicle on the road, otherwise it's known simply as rage. Road rage involves being in various vehicles and feeling an intense form of anger that you cannot control. This anger can lead to a variety of outbursts which can result in unpleasant consequences.

Feelin' angry?

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Anger is a quick emotion that rears its head in the ugliest of ways. Some of us are prone to be more hot headed than others and there's nothing particularly wrong with that, however when anger shows itself whilst you're behind the wheel of a car, it can be potentially quite dangerous.

The huff...

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Huffing and Puffing is a subtle beginners clue that road rage is on its way. When you're behind the wheel of a car and someone annoys you but you're trying to be polite and hold it together, you may find yourself huffing and puffing. A great British way of saying you're irritated!

The stare...

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Next up... the passive aggressive stare that you intend to hold for as long as it takes for the other driver to notice. This can often be harmless and lead to nowhere but it can also be the instigator of further rage - think of it as challenging the other person like other animals do.


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One of the most common signs of road rage and usually the first thing that happens in the moment is shouting. Often when someone annoys you whilst you're driving, the quickest reaction is to tell them about it - usually not in the most politest of ways and usually not received well by the other driver either!

Using expletives

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When shouting doesn't seem to have the desired affect, the next step in the road rage journey is to use expletives to make sure the other driver really knows how you feel. This can feel rewarding in the moment, however remember to consider and be aware of who is in your car with you, don't forget about the children!


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Next, to help express even more annoyance, involve your hands. Some people are naturally quite expressive and are known to talk with their hands, however when behind the wheel of a car and feeling angry, hands offer a more explosive reaction to how you are feeling.

Expletive gestures

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And when you're frantically waving your hands, punching the air and feeling like the other driver hasn't quite got your message - your gestures turn expletive. This is an extreme manner to show you're annoyed and often it's quite common with road rage drivers. It's often much quicker to 'flip the v' then to do anything else and many get a great deal of satisfaction from doing so!

Tensing up

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A common feature of road rage is whole body tension. Often after an episode of road rage, where you have tensed up, your body might ache, feel sore and tired depending how worked up you got yourself. It can sometimes be compared to doing an intense workout!

Hold on tight!

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Do you ever look down at your hands gripping the steering wheel and see white knuckles? The phrase 'white knuckle rage' is associated with intense forms of anger that cause your hands to clench. Road rage often comes hand in hand with clenching the steering wheel as you feel your blood pressure rising.

Clenched jaw

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A clenched jaw or grinding of teeth is a sign of stress and anxiety - both feelings associated with road rage. Often you begin clenching your jaw when you start to feel angry and post road rage when you are reflecting on what happened. Just be mindful that clenching your jaw isn't healthy for your teeth and can lead to back, neck and shoulder problems later down the line.

A nail biting experience

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Nail biting, another sign of being stressed and anxious, is linked closely to road rage. It can be a sign as the rage is developing and the pressure is building but also a post road rage behaviour once the adrenaline has worn off. Nail biting in high stress environments like that of road rage is more common amongst people who already bite their nails.

Seeing things?

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When the pressure of other drivers on the road starts to build, your pupils will dilate, becoming larger than normal. Dilated pupils occur in high stress environments or when you are feeling intense anxiety; like that of a panic attack. Often the fight or flight response that occurs during a road rage incident results in your pupils dilating.

The sarcastic laugh

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Finding humour in stressful situations can be a great way to keep your blood pressure down - think 'just smile and wave boys, just smile and wave'. However, the sarcastic laugh and mockery of those on the road can annoy other drivers and be seen as a lack of care on your part for the rules of the road.


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When anxiety or high stress environments are encountered - like that of an episode of road rage - it can be common to sweat on your palms, face, underarms or soles of your feet. A rush of the Cortisol hormone is released as your body prepares to deal with danger.

Fast and shallow breathing

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When faced with intense stress that road rage presents, your bodies natural response is to engage 'fight or flight'. This evolutionary response is designed to keep you safe and causes a spike in heart rate which in turn causes quicker, more shallow breathing in order to get in more oxygen.


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An obvious sign of road rage is speeding. When the anxiety hits and the anger starts building, it's easy to put your foot to the pedal and watch the speedometer start creep up - that's if you're actually watching! Most motorists who are stopped for speeding by law enforcement or caught on camera claim to have no idea that they were. Unfortunately that won't stop you getting a ticket!


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Tailgating is one of the most dangerous aspects of road rage as it can very easily lead to a crash. The person in front may get annoyed and brake and the person tailgating, if not paying attention, will end up colliding with the back of the car. It is seen as a form of intimidation; in some countries is illegal; and can lead to driving offence charges or even a driving ban!


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Have you ever been in a road rage incident where the other driver hasn't apologised or acknowledge their wrong doing? Did you change your plans and start following them to make your point? Road rage can extend beyond the car when this happens as one or both of the drivers get out to make their point more clearly. On occasions this can lead to physical altercations so try remain inside your vehicle if you can resist.

Cutting off other motorists

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There is nothing more annoying that cruising down the highway, minding your own business and someone comes up from behind you and cuts you up. Often this forces you to break harshly and instantly hikes up your stress levels. Not only is the act of cutting someone up a cause for road rage but it is also a sign of road rage.

Lane weaving

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Weaving in and out of lanes without indicating is sure to annoy other road users as it shows a lack of patience when driving and a lack of care for the rules of the road. It can also be extremely unpredictable and causes drivers around you to back off and feel nervous as they cannot predict your next move.

Lane hogging

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No-one likes a hogger of any variety, let alone a lane hogger when you're driving. You can be on the highway and a motorist is cruising in the middle lane, driving below the speed limit, it is sure to make even the calmest person fill with road rage. In some countries middle lane hogging goes against the Highway Code and can get you pulled over by law enforcement.

Aggressive headlight flashing

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Whether it's nighttime, daytime or anywhere in between, flashing your headlights aggressively is common road rage behaviour. The only trouble with headlight flashing during a road rage incident is that it can mean many different things depending on the circumstances: from rage to a friendly gesture - not so helpful if you're angry, trying to get other drivers to know!

Aggressive horn blowing

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Honking your horn is an intended method of warning to other road users if there is danger. Highway agencies state that a horn is not intended for displaying your annoyance and honking your horns is actually illegal in some countries in a residential area between the hours of 11pm and 7am - so limit your road rage to social hours if you intend on honking your horn!

Sudden and unexpected braking

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Hard braking happens when you use sudden, excessive force on your brake pedal and is a sign of aggressive driving linked to road rage. Not only can hard breaking lead to accidents, it can also affect the wear and tear of your vehicle, causing it to be an expensive action if done regularly.

Running red lights

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Failing to stop for a red traffic light is one of the most common traffic offences. When filled with rage during a road rage episode you may simply 'see red' and therefore fail to follow the rules of the road. This can not only lead to potential accidents but also police charges and speeding tickets if caught.

Getting out

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Getting out of the car to shout and have a go at another road user is an extreme sign of road rage. Most people can accept the fault of themselves or another driver and although heated in the moment, can let the situation go. Consider the bigger picture and whether escalating the situation by getting out of the car is worth it!

Blasting loud music

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Whilst it's legal to listen to music while you drive, and many use it as a way to pass the time and to entertain themselves, if you are listening to it too loud, it can cause problems. Drivers who experience road rage use music as a method to intimidate other drivers but also to encourage their emotions. Just be careful of the volume and whether it's too distracting!

Fearful passengers

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Driving with road rage can make you feel as if you're invincible and like you're the only one in the car. Whether you have passengers or not, advice to combat road rage is to image you are always driving with someone as when driving with passengers, the hope is that you drive better - just think how scary being a passenger to aggressive driving can be!

Feeling embarrassed

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Once the rage has subsided and the adrenaline has left your body, a typical road rage driver is left feeling utterly embarrassed. You suddenly become aware of your surroundings and aware of those around you and are often left thinking 'What have I done?', or 'Was it worth it?'.