Local Psychologist Says Road Rage is Preventable


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Videos of road rage incidents continue to go viral with the most recent one involving a man running over a motorcycle but are situations like this preventable?

A local psychologist told me to prevent road rage when driving requires awareness of what the roots are that cause the road rage and simply refusing to take the bait.
“One thing I’ve noticed is it’s kind of contagious. If you commute during rush hour if you see something going on then all of a sudden you’re kind of drawn into it,” said Troy Miller.
Miller who is a concerned driver says sometimes other drivers reactions get to him.
“It depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I usually just try to relax and realize you’re not going to save any time by driving like that,” Miller said.
“Road rage in some sense is normal statistically because most people have it at some point,” said Paul Thomlinson, Burrell Behavioral Health Psychologist.
Thomlinson says while driving you are essentially completing a goal. 
“They’re barreling down the highway trying to make progress and somebody cuts them off or thwarts them from that goal it’s a pretty natural reaction for people to have a strong emotional reaction,” said Thomlinson.
He says driving can be a psychological experience, which is how he says it should be.
“I think it’s healthy that we’re engaged emotionally and aware but to the extent where it creates that sense of emotional unrest and certainly rage and acting out then we have to consider that it may be something that we should work on,” Thomlinson said.
Thomlinson says it is rare for people to be truly enraged just from driving.  
“It’s the same basic psychological mechanism of frustration and aggression so really the issue is learning how to deal with your aggression and frustration in a more healthy fashion,” said Thomlinson
Thomlinson says there’s a sense of security inside a vehicle but what people need to realize is that we aren’t truly safe because vehicles can be a powerful weapon. He says to prevent road rage you need to be aware of it and to refuse to take the bait.

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