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September 25, 2017

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Gender makes no difference in who feels road rage: study

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- An Internet-based study revealed that while men typically have less patience when encountering traffic jams while driving, nearly 40 percent of women experience "road rage" as well.

Pollster Market Research (波仕特線上調查), an Internet-based market survey website, held a survey to research Taiwan's road rage behavior. The results of the survey showed that about 50 percent of drivers feel aggressive or angry while driving in Taiwan.

According to the survey, road rage behavior does not have a clear gender difference between men and women. The statistics show that 40 percent of male drivers experience road rage when facing unpleasant incidents during their drive, slightly higher than 38 percent of women who experience the same.

Therefore, one out of 10 drivers may experience road rage during the Spring Festival vacation, the heaviest period of traffic during the year.

Liu Tsung-hsien (劉宗憲), chief of the Department of Psychiatry at Taipei City Hospital Songde Branch (台北市聯合醫院松德院區), defined road rage as drivers who display aggressive behavior under traffic jam conditions. These aggressive acts commonly include swearing, sounding the horn, continuously stepping on the brakes or gas, speeding and even engaging in physical confrontations with other drivers.

"Drivers experiencing road rage can feel like another person when they are in a traffic jam," said Liu.

In clinical case studies, some people became "road-rage drivers" as soon as they touched a steering wheel. In one incident a major car accident ensued because a driver lost their temper.

Dealing with Road Rage

With the Chinese New Year festival around the corner, huge amounts of traffic on national highways as well as at popular tourist attractions can be expected. Liu said that road rage drivers should stay self-aware and recognize when they are feeling anger. Once a driver notices that he or she is on the verge of getting angry, they can try several tactics to reduce their stress, such as chewing gum, stretching and listening to music or the radio.

In addition, friends and family members in the car should also help these drivers to relieve their stress by letting the drivers rest for a while outside of the car. Start the journey again after the driver recovers from their bad mood in order to have a safe trip during the New Year, stated Liu.

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