Social media might be contributing to road rage. But it’s also helping us better understand the psychological underpinnings behind the violent trend.
Road rage is real. And it’s been getting worse for the past 10 years. Some would say there’s a direct correlation between the increased incidents and our increasingly tethered lifestyles. But since we’re not likely to step into an era of unplugging from the stream, one company is at least harnessing the power of social media to help better understand when and how road rage happens.
Combing through data found in 65,535 Instagram posts, this company found that road rage peaks in August. But you can’t blame it all on the heat. While July is a particularly bad month, September and October aren’t that far behind. The safest months appear to be April and May, which rates nearly halved compared to the worst ones.
It also escalates throughout the week, with Friday being the most road rage fueled day of all. Sunday and Monday also have least road rage incidents, implying that people are a little more laid back early in the week. Interestingly, the morning commute hours between 6am and 9:00 am are positively serene compared to pretty much anytime between 2:00 and 8:00 pm.
And the time people are most likely to lose it on the road? Between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. In other words, when a majority of Americans are stuck in rush hour traffic on their way home from at the end of the week, or to anywhere else, besides work.
The folks behind the study suggest, “How can you thwart feelings of anger on the road? Allow for extra time in case you run into delays, adjust your schedule to avoid driving through the worst traffic, and listen to music while you drive. If you start to feel angry, it’s vital to relax, breathe deeply, and consider taking a break to stretch your legs or sip some water.” Or, you know, just consider going into hiding for the summer.