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The psychology behind road rage

Most drivers have experienced road rage at some point or another. Occasionally, this rage may lead to confrontations or car accidents. In the state of Connecticut, repeat aggressive driving offenders can be sent to a Driver Retraining program in order to manage their behavior.

People can get angry at any time or place. When it happens behind the wheel, the situation can promote certain psychological biases. Some specialists believe that people feel safe in a car because they are in an enclosed space, fostering a feeling of security. They may feel invincible and isolated from other people on the road. Those who experience road rage might also feel as though they can easily escape the situation without worry of consequence.

These psychological biases help remove the behavioral brakes typical of other social settings. When those brakes are removed, the result can manifest distracted behavior and desires to lash out, possibly causing wrecks with serious injury. The sense of anonymity while in a vehicle might also undermine a sense of personal connection to other drivers and passengers.

Commonly, it may not be initially apparent that a driver's hostile behavior and disregard for the rules of the road led to an injury-causing accident. For those wishing to assign negligence for harm sustained, subsequent witness statements and police reports documenting the event may help to get a clear picture of the situation. A lawyer may be able to preserve evidence and help an injured person determine if a personal injury lawsuit is appropriate.

Source: The Department of Motor Vehicles, "Aggressive Driving and Road Rage"

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