Driving Psychology (Psy409a); September 18, 2006
Aggression: Used to Dominate
By: Kasey Vanderhoof
Instructions for this activity are found at:
Instructor: Dr. Leon James
Leon James and Diane Nahl (2000). Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering
Clear of Highway Warfare. (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books). Reviewing pages 32
i. No longer is rage and aggressiveness limited to the road but are now apart of other aspects of life as well
1. For example, there is this thing termed desk rage
a. People are so stressed out at work that fights begin in the workplace between coworkers
2. There is also this thing called surf rage (as well as many other types of rage)
a. Surfing used to be considered a carefree and peaceful way of life but now many models of surfboards are considered deadly weapons, according to the Open Waves Act
i. For instance, it dominates someone who is seen as deserving punishment for inconviencing us, for getting in our way, having placed us in danger because they did something stupid, simply not caring, etc.
i. Venting increases stress and depresses the immune system functioning
i. This triggering stimulus is just the sudden realization of physical endangerment
i. This is the basis of supportive driving
ii. It emphasizes compassion, tolerances, and wisdom
i. Do not show signs of anger when interacting with others (rule #45)
ii. Do not use insulting language (rule #49)
iii. “Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called your driving conscience.” (Rule #110) (P37)
1. All of these rules apply to the road as well as to everyday life
a. They are a way to achieve greatness and by following them, they may even save lives due to having less aggression on the road and in life
i. Because of this others are unable to tell them otherwise
i. Even if this is the case, society cannot survive if antisocial driving continues unchecked
i. It is up to the safety experts and drivers education specialists to teach people the inner tools needed to develop compassion on the roads
i. Do not make obscene gestures
ii. Use your horn sparingly
iii. Don’t block the passing lane
iv. Don’t switch lanes without signaling
v. Avoid blocking the right had turn lane
vi. Do not tailgate
vii. It you travel slowly, pull over and allow traffic to pass
viii. Avoid unnecessary use to high-beam lights
ix. Don’t let the car phone distract you
x. Don’t stop in the road to talk with a pedestrian or other driver
xi. Don’t inflict loud music on neighboring cars
xii. Assume other drivers’ mistakes are not personal
xiii. Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn’t
xiv. Avoid all conflict if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and get out of the way
xv. Reduce your stress: Allow plenty of time for the trip; listen to soothing music
i. Aggressive driving violates these goals
1. It contributes to more crashes between cars and duel between drivers
This website expands on George Washington’s Rules of Civility. It not only gives you the rules that I mentioned above but also shares some of his other
rules as well.
This website gives you clues as to how to avoid aggressive driving. It lists some of the advice given above but also expands on other ideas as well.
It is a great website for you to learn how to avoid someone who may be an aggressive driver.
This website explains how all people have an aggressive side. You could meet the nicest person in the world and they too will be aggressive at some
point or another. No one can completely avoid be aggressive or angry at sometime or another, it is apart of human nature.
 I got this list of advice directly from the book cited above. I found this information on page 39.