When road rage hits: 6pm on Friday, in August
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It’s blisteringly hot outside and the air has grown to become a thick blanket of humidity; you just want to be at home, but you’re stuck in standstill traffic.
The month of August creates the ‘perfect storm’ for road rage, according to a new study, with vacationers taking to the streets in droves and motorists at a higher chance of consuming alcohol.
Researchers from Auto Insurance Centre tapped into social media to understand drivers’ frustrations across the US, analysing #RoadRage to find out where and when Americans drivers are angriest.
Social media has, in many ways, become an online diary for users to express their every emotion.
With this information so readily available, researchers were able to analyse the anger patterns of thousands of drivers in the US, using 65,535 Instagram posts tagged #RoadRage.
This data has revealed the cities, states, months, and even the most common words associated with road rage.
The team found that road rage is most extreme in August, with 7,136 posts under the tag at this time of year.
This was followed closely by July, October, and March – the latter two were neck in neck with 6,087 and 6,084 posts, respectively.
‘The summer months tend to see an increased number of cars on the road, as teens are out of school and families head out of town for vacation,’ the study explains.
‘Motorists are more likely to consume alcohol before they drive too. These factors can all produce the perfect storm for frustration on the road.’
These posts peak on Friday, the data also revealed, with roughly 10,500 posts under #RoadRage.
Thursday, Wednesday, and Tuesday all closely compete, while the two weekend days reflect a drastic drop in motorist anger.
The researchers say the most commonly mentioned word in #RoadRage is traffic, while other frequently used terms included ‘stuck,’ ‘work,’ ‘crazy,’ and numerous profanities.
While the analysis reveals many trends, the researchers explain it likely does not highlight the grim truth of road rage, which is often tied to violence, injury, and death.
To curb these feelings of anger, they suggest allowing for extra time, adjusting your schedule to avoid the worst traffic, and listening to music.
They also suggest breathing deeply and even considering taking a break to stretch your legs or have some water if the anger does begin to build.
As for those on the receiving end of road rage, they say to never challenge another motorist, ignore any obscenities, and avoid using the horn unnecessarily.