You may want to chill out a bit if you plan on getting behind the wheel.
A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health finds angry and aggressive drivers are more likely to be involved in a crash, than those who remain calm.
“Even minor aggression, such as swearing, yelling or making rude gestures, can increase the risk of a collision.” – lead author Dr. Christine Wickens, scientist in CAMH’s Institute for Mental Health Policy Research. The study was published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour.
Drivers who said they’ve made threats, attempted/succeeded in damaging another vehicle or hurting someone were 78% more likely to be involved in a crash, than those who admit to acts of minor aggression, such as honking their horns.
Dr. Wickens says the risk is comparable to those who use cannabis and drive.
“The results clearly show that aggression is related to the risk of collision. While the study doesn’t show that specific cases of anger directly caused a collision, the strong association suggests these drivers may have a greater chance of a collision because they either drive more aggressively or are distracted by their anger from other hazards on the road.”
The researchers say there are numerous ways to reduce stress and anger levels, including deep breathing, listening to music, and something as simple as giving yourself extra time to reach your destination.