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I don't think there's a driver alive who hasn't lost their cool at some point. Watching other people make driving errors that are dumb, selfish, or dangerous is incredibly frustrating. But why do we get so dang angry on the road and not in other places?

Because, "road ragers don't see the offender as a person," according to Barry Markell, PhD on WebMD.  When people make mistakes in person, you can see their faces, which can help evoke sympathy and understanding, while that idiot in the car next to you remains a faceless jerk. I'll add this too- you feel more accountable for how you act when people can see you, too.

Not everyone is prone to road rage, and the vast majority of us who do get ticked off will, at most, yell in our own car and maybe flip the other person off, I'm totally guilty of this. One thing I try to remember is: am I displacing my anger or stress about something else onto this person? Whoops. Being mindful can help you cool your jets in all kinds of situations.

Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash
Photo by Siavash Ghanbari on Unsplash

Sadly, Texas leads the nation in road rage events that involve a firearm. This means that Texas also leads the nation in fatal road rage incidents.

From 2017 to 2021, Texas had 467 reported road rage incidents that involved a firearm, outpacing Florida at 304, which is a considerable margin. I do always try to remember that Texas is a huge state and that will account for some of the discrepancy. However out of those 467 cases, "358 people were shot and led to 87 fatalities." That's far too many deaths over what is almost always a petty encounter.

How can we be better? We can remember that the other driver is a human being, for one. We can address our stress and anger in positive, proactive ways that keep us from boiling over during inappropriate times. And we can always decide to not misuse our firearms.

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