Road rage: How to calm or protect yourself – The Washington Post
Last year was the worst on record for road rage shootings in the United States, according to data released by Everytown for Gun Safety, which found that more than 500 people were shot and wounded or killed in more than 700 incidents. The monthly average of 44 people killed or wounded by gunfire on the roads was double the 2019 average.There are probably two main factors driving the increase in shootings on the road, said Sarah Burd-Sharps, research director for Everytown. “One is that covid-19 has brought all kinds of new stressors into our lives, and that’s playing out in terms of health behaviors that are quite frightening,” she said. The other, she added, is a spike in gun sales.Experts say the rise in road-rage-related shootings is a quantifiable slice of an alarming problem. While it is difficult to determine the frequency of other kinds of road rage incidents — such as making obscene gestures, throwing objects or sideswiping or forcing a fellow driver off the street — anecdotal reports suggest that belligerent behavior on the road has generally increased during the pandemic.
…It can sometimes be difficult to extend such grace to other drivers because the stakes are so high — and “mistakes can mean death,” said Ryan Martin, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay who studies anger. That’s why it’s so easy, when you see someone being careless, to become “livid with rage.” But, as he points out, we can probably all remember a time when we didn’t look carefully when we changed lanes and accidentally cut someone off. He implores drivers to let these incidents roll the same way they hope others would do for them.