Why Do We Turn into Maniacs Behind the Wheel? (It's Not Just Road Rage)

by AutoExpert   |  4 June, 2024

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Yeah, that same old story, the car in front of view is moving at 1 tortoise per hour. And what do we do? Get nervous, hit the acceleration, and maybe even stare judgementally at the driver while overtaking them.

The thing is, there's a weird trick our brains play on us that makes us all worse drivers, even the chill ones. It's called "motonormativity," and it's basically the idea that driving is the only way to roll, the king of the road.

Aggressive Driving & Road Rage: More Common Than You Think

So Why Do We Turn into Maniacs Behind the Wheel?

It's not all about road rage (although that doesn't help). There's a whole cocktail of things at play, from how roads are designed (think wide open highways that beg you to go faster) to how we see ourselves as drivers.

We all have years of driving behind us, and even if some are just getting started, there's always that feeling of power and expertise you get when behind the wheel. Like, we're way better drivers in our minds than in reality. Big misconception that makes us overestimate our driving talent and makes us, our passengers, and other traffic participants prone to huge risks.

Road Rage Statistics and Facts in 2024 | Bankrate

Motonormativity: When Cars Get a Free Pass

Motonormativity is like this weird bias where cars are king. It's so ingrained in us, we don't even stop to think about it. You know those safety campaigns that tell kids to wear bright clothes so drivers can see them? Kind of feels like it's the kid's fault for getting hit by a car if they're not dressed right, doesn't it?

Road rage is much more common than you think. What can you do about it? - CSMonitor.com

How Do We Fix This Crazy Driver Thing?

Okay, okay, it's not all bad news. Remember seatbelts? They were a big deal once, and now everyone uses them. Change is possible, even if it's slow.

The key is to start talking about this stuff. We gotta admit that our love affair with cars isn't exactly sunshine and rainbows. It's about making the roads a safe space for everyone, no matter if they're cruising on a bike, walking their dog, or stuck in traffic.

It's a big change, but one that could save a ton of lives. Here's to safer roads for everyone!

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