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Driving is something a lot of people do everyday. While it can be a boring and menial activity for some, others can get very emotional on the roads. Drivers who experience negative emotions on the road can lead to road rage, which can be dangerous for the person with road rage and everyone else on the road. Here’s a look at five things that may be signs that you might have road rage.

The dangers of road rage

Jodie Foster acting out road rage on the set of 'Foxes' in Los Angeles, California
Jodie Foster acting out road rage | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Access Insurance writes that the vast majority of accidents, about 94%, are caused by driver error. Of that 94%, about one-third were caused by driving behavior commonly linked to road rage. That being said, that’s not the worst that can happen when a driver has a case of the condition. That’s because road rage can cause other drivers to get angry, and this can cause a cycle of violence that continues to escalate. 

That’s why there are so many examples of road rage incidents that have escalated to the point where someone pulls a gun and shoots at the other driver. Not only is that extremely dangerous for the people getting shot at, but it can also endanger bystanders who are just minding their own business. That’s why it’s important to recognize when you have road rage, so you can try to de-escalate the situation rather than escalating it.

1. Prolonged use of your horn to harass another driver

Horn etiquette is a complex topic, but generally speaking, folks should avoid using the horn as much as possible. Drivers prone to road rage can be set off by just a single honk of the horn. Prolonged use of the horn is far too aggressive, which is a clear indicator. On top of being annoying, the horn can damage people’s hearing, so that’s another reason why drivers should avoid honking.

2. Brake checking or suddenly braking in front of another car

Brake checking is another clear sign of road rage, as there’s usually no good reason to suddenly brake when you’re in front of another vehicle. On top of that, if the driver behind you doesn’t react fast enough, they will crash into you, unnecessarily damaging everyone’s car. 

3. Tailgating is also a sign of road rage

That being said, tailgating is also a sign of road rage, and if you tailgate another car, that puts you at risk of getting brake checked. Some drivers view brake checking as a reprisal for tailgating, but that can easily lead to a spiral of escalating violence. It’s best to keep a safe distance between your car and the cars in front of and behind you.

4. Getting out of your car to harm another driver

This is perhaps the clearest sign, and if you or someone else does this, they almost certainly have road rage. This is unsafe for so many reasons. One big reason is that when you exit your vehicle during an incident, it’s a clear sign of escalation, which can lead to the other driver escalating in return.

5. Forcing another driver off the road 

Another clear sign is when you try to force another driver off the road. Road rage is typically defined as when drivers use their car as a weapon, and this is a literal example of that. This can be dangerous for many reasons, including the fact that it makes accidents far more likely, especially if this happens on a freeway.


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