Road rage is an aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other motor vehicle. Such behavior might include rude gestures, verbal insults, deliberately driving in an unsafe or threatening manner, or making threats. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults, and collisions which result in injuries and even deaths. It can be thought of as an extreme case of aggressive driving.
The term originated in the United States during the 1980s, specifically from Newscasters at KTLA,
a local television station in Los Angeles, California. The term
originated in 1987-1988, when a rash of freeway shootings occurred on
the 405, 110 and 10 freeways in Los Angeles. These shooting sprees even
spawned a response from the AAA Motor Club to its members on how to
respond to drivers with road rage or aggressive maneuvers and gestures.
As early as 1997, therapists in the United States were working to
certify road rage as a medical condition. It is not an official mental
disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. According to an article published by the Associated Press in June 2006, the behaviors typically associated with road rage are the result of intermittent explosive disorder. This conclusion was drawn from surveys of some 9,200 adults in the United States between 2001 and 2003 and was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. The cause of intermittent explosive disorder has not been described to
date. There are differing views on whether or not "road rage" is a
A 2007 study of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas concluded that
the cities with the least courteous drivers (most road rage) are Miami, Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. The cities with the most courteous drivers (least road rage) are Minneapolis, Nashville, St. Louis, Seattle, and Atlanta.
In spite of this, in 2009, New York, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit,
Atlanta and Minneapolis/St. Paul were rated the top five "Road Rage
Capitals" of the United States.