Massive construction-related traffic delays and hot weather are grinding peoples’ gears on Vancouver roads, and drivers are venting their frustrations on those around them, according to a psychologist with ICBC.
John Vavrik said the reason most drivers freak out is that they feel they’re being blocked from their goal.
“That triggers an angry reaction. Couple that with work and home stress, (and drivers) … become aggressive.”
Vavrik said extreme road-ragers tend to think driving mistakes are intentionally directed at them, which makes them want to retaliate at other drivers,
“The emotion takes over and it overrides any kind of rational thinking, and you get out-of-control incidents, like where people get out of the car and start beating each other.”
Vavrik added that when in their cars drivers feel a sense of safety because they’re behind a barrier.
“If two people bump into each other in Safeway … they say ‘excuse me.’ There’s a direct personal interaction. In the car you’re … separate from the environment. You do things you wouldn’t normally do.”