Road Rage: Anger behind the Wheel Could Be a Sign of Poor Mental Health

A look at any recent police blotter will most likely reveal at least one incident involving an aggressive motorist. Known as “road rage,” volatile behavior behind the wheel is a leading cause of car accidents—and is becoming a growing health concern.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, road rage contributed to 218 deaths and more than 12,000 injuries in a six-year period. Check out this site here to read moreabout real road rage facts.

Most recently, former child star and singer, Aaron Carter, was captured on video allegedly engaging in a road rage incident at a gas station. One story says Carter yelled at the other man to fight him, then threatened to report the man to police for threatening him. Read more about this news story here.

In another case, a motorist rear-ended another vehicle and then got out of his car to shove the other driver. Last year, a road rage case made headlines across the country when a mother of four was shot and killed by another motorist.

These incidents are tragic and scary – but new health news research shows they may also be linked to an underlying mental health condition. Psychologists state that motorists who experience pronounced road rage may actually be suffering from a mental condition.

Characteristics of Angry Drivers

A study conducted by a Colorado State University psychology professor revealed that angry drivers share numerous personality traits. Although they aren’t always dangerous and aggressive behind the wheel, they are far more likely to become irritated or irrational when challenged on the road.

Their common characteristics include:

More Likely to Take Risks

Angry drivers take more risks than average motorists. They tend to driver faster than other drivers – even 10 to 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. They’re also more likely to switch lanes more rapidly, tailgate other drivers, and run red lights.

The Anger Progression

Compared to other drivers, it doesn’t take much to provoke an angry driver. On average, angry drivers experience more episodes of anger in their daily lives. Whereas normal drivers felt angry less than once per day on average, angry drivers experienced anger more than two times a day.

Experience More Accidents

It’s not much of a surprise that angry drivers get in more accidents. They are also involved in more near-accidents and off-road crashes. Additionally, they receive more speeding tickets than average drivers.

More Likely to Engage in Hostile Thinking

Angry drivers are more likely to have hostile and retaliatory thoughts compared to their average counterparts. This type of thinking leads them to make assumptions about other motorists. They are also more judgmental about the ways others drive.

Tips for Sending Your Anger to the Curb

Car accidents are a fact of life, but drivers who engage in road rage make the highways unsafe for everyone – including motorists who act out their aggression on the road. If you feel hot-tempered behind the wheel, there are several things you can do to reduce your rage from a boil to a simmer.

Tips for keeping calm on the road include:

  • Getting enough rest – The National Sleep Foundation says 45 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep. Read more about this here.
  • Planning your route ahead of time – Getting lost during your drive can raise your stress levels, making you more prone to anger. Give yourself enough time to reach your destination without speeding; also, map your route before you pull out of the driveway.
  • Thinking of your car as a tool, not as an extension of yourself – Americans have a long history of loving their cars. For many people – especially those who routinely drive long commutes – the car becomes part of them while they’re driving. When someone cuts them off or follows too closely, they are more likely to view it as a personal attack.
  • Practicing deep breathing – Breathing exercises aren’t just for yoga class. Taking in more oxygen and focusing on your breaths can slow your heart rate and clear your mind.

Learning to curb your anger can not only save yourself—and others—from accidents, but it can halso be more beneficial to your mental health. Get some rest and get in the right frame of mind before getting behind the wheel.

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Hairstyle Updates with Sass

Bored with Your Hairstyle? 

Find a hairstyle that is so radical that you literally earn a badge of courage if you dare try it. This has to be one of the most non-controversial, yet sophisticated and lovely eras for beautiful and manageable hair. The highlights are minimal but effective, and the cuts are simple but offer volume and versatility.

The newest rage in simplicity is a haircut called the lob. It’s basically a long bob, which falls slightly between your chin and shoulder blade. Most of the hair is similar in length, but the way it’s modestly highlighted and barely styled, gives it an oxymoronic messy/neat presentation. You can look cute and sassy while accompanying the kids to school, but also have a more glam appearance for an evening dinner if you toss in some hot curls. Check out some celeb photos donning the lob

So, you don’t want to cut your hair?

For those unwilling to cut their hair as short as a bob or lob, the braid has returned as a chic and popular style. Pulling the hair back into a tight braid is a severe, but a very attractive look for dress-up, ultra professional, or evening. A looser, side braid is lovely for daytime, errand-running, or even workouts.

Tape-on extensions are also en vogue. They’re great because you can get ones with a slightly different tone than your color, without damaging your hair from processing. Extensions can give you the luscious look you may have never had due to fine or limp hair. They look amazing, especially when you take the time to curl or style, but they do require more maintenance; you have to brush thoroughly twice a say, wear your hair up while sleeping, and shampooing can be a procedure. Otherwise, if you’re willing to put in the time for the fun and fancy look, it’s worth trying extensions for a couple of months.

Just because we’re aging doesn’t mean we have to don old frumpy haircuts. Be adventurous and let your inner-sass out. Whether you want your hair as long as Rapunzel’s or as short as Betty Boop’s, today’s styles allow you to “fit in” comfortably and adorably.