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A Communicative Approach to Road Rage: Accounts of Driving and Retaliation
Unformatted Document Text:  Road Rage 23 about incidents that happened recently, as the recall of information might be more accurate. However, because of the length of time between the incident and the report of the incident for most participants, reality may have been distorted. Though respondents were instructed to describe an episode that occurred within the last year, some described events that had occurred three years earlier. The final limitation is that the typology included in the coding of the present study may not be exhaustive. Because this study was exploratory in nature, further research is needed with the coding categories to verify their validity. The present study represents the beginning of research on road rage that will increase our understanding of the phenomenon. Further understanding of road rage could lead to the development of educational programs to increase recognition of the series of actions, emotions and attributions that often lead to the escalation of road rage. The education of drivers should hopefully increase consideration and perspective-taking in drivers. Consequently, the practical application of the knowledge gained from the present study could facilitate not only an awareness of road rage, but also a decrease in its frequency. Although this study is exploratory, it has demonstrated that three factors exist that people should know before they drive. Understanding these factors should influence drivers to rethink behavior prior to and when confronted with road rage. First, everyone on the road thinks they are right and others who behave in unexpected ways are wrong. Consequently, a driver should understand that he or she will probably never be able to convince another driver that he or she is wrong by using reciprocating or escalatory behaviors. Second, people are ready and willing to use their car as a means of confrontation. Vehicular Communication, which was the most commonly cited instigating factor and strategic response, includes a range of behavior--from passive acts (like slowing down) to potentially lethal acts (like running the other driver off the road). In this light, if a person decides to attempt to rectify the harm another driver incurs, that person is literally putting his or her life in danger in an effort to prove a point. Finally, the range of behaviors involved in road rage vary radically from benign to fatal. Although the perceived security of being inside a car may cause drivers to respond negatively and aggressively to initiating road rage behaviors, it is unknown how other drivers will respond. In a sense, getting involved in road rage is a form of Russian

Authors: Canary, Daniel., Mikkelson, Alan., Switzer, Frank. and Bailey, Carrie.
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Road Rage 23
about incidents that happened recently, as the recall of information might be more accurate. However,
because of the length of time between the incident and the report of the incident for most participants, reality
may have been distorted. Though respondents were instructed to describe an episode that occurred within
the last year, some described events that had occurred three years earlier.
The final limitation is that the typology included in the coding of the present study may not be
exhaustive. Because this study was exploratory in nature, further research is needed with the coding
categories to verify their validity.
The present study represents the beginning of research on road rage that will increase our
understanding of the phenomenon. Further understanding of road rage could lead to the development of
educational programs to increase recognition of the series of actions, emotions and attributions that often
lead to the escalation of road rage. The education of drivers should hopefully increase consideration and
perspective-taking in drivers. Consequently, the practical application of the knowledge gained from the
present study could facilitate not only an awareness of road rage, but also a decrease in its frequency.
Although this study is exploratory, it has demonstrated that three factors exist that people should
know before they drive. Understanding these factors should influence drivers to rethink behavior prior to
and when confronted with road rage. First, everyone on the road thinks they are right and others who
behave in unexpected ways are wrong. Consequently, a driver should understand that he or she will
probably never be able to convince another driver that he or she is wrong by using reciprocating or
escalatory behaviors. Second, people are ready and willing to use their car as a means of confrontation.
Vehicular Communication, which was the most commonly cited instigating factor and strategic response,
includes a range of behavior--from passive acts (like slowing down) to potentially lethal acts (like running
the other driver off the road). In this light, if a person decides to attempt to rectify the harm another driver
incurs, that person is literally putting his or her life in danger in an effort to prove a point. Finally, the range
of behaviors involved in road rage vary radically from benign to fatal. Although the perceived security of
being inside a car may cause drivers to respond negatively and aggressively to initiating road rage behaviors,
it is unknown how other drivers will respond. In a sense, getting involved in road rage is a form of Russian


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