I think it is impatience mostly. About the third time someone cuts you off or nearly hits you, you just lose it.
Have you ever noticed that people driving faster than you are maniacs and people driving slower than you are idiots?
Road rage is a "fight or flight" instinct. We all know and understand that a car is a deadly weapon. Even if we don't think about it much. We know that the "other guy" is there with a deadly weapon threatening our lives by their reckless behavior. <br />
We cannot run. We are trapped on the road. Someone is weilding a several ton weapon in a stupid, dangerous or threatening manner and we react with anger.. that can escalate rapidly to rage then to insane rage. We need to do whatever we can to defend ourselves from the threat.
I think its the person getting a feeling like, "oh I could do so much better if I was driving that car I wouldnt do it what an idiot" Im just saying this because all the people who I have seen get road rage are all very cocky/ignorant and think there better at everything than everyone else..
Four one it has to do with the face that people put alot of money into cars and you never know what they are going through or what they went through to get the car. In my case I have two children so when somone isn't paying attention or cuts me off I am furious for my childrens lives. I couldn't live without them. and If somone eneded their lives by being recless or in a hurry when there was nothing that could really be done about it they had better hope they killed me too. <br />
On the other end. I get really irritated when somone blocks both lanes and is trying to turn and no one is coming in either direction. especially after sitting there for three minutes. cus then i wonder what in the world are you doing and why arn't you parking in a parking lot doing it instead of blocking the exit.
My theory is that idiots who dont know how to drive need to get off the road before I run them down!<br />
Only kidding, I dont actually drive, so I never suffer from this problem. I have a chauffer, his name is mr bus driver. He takes care of the stress of driving so I can just sit back, relax and listen Billy Idol on my mp3 pla<x>yer.
It's cuz people are in their own little space and they feel threatened if their little space is threatened.
Road rage is just an extreme form of aggressive driving. Usually done by idiots who think they are Michael Schumacher incarnates and that they're the only ones entitled to drive around. Anybody not living up to their standard is being verbally abused, given the finger or even rammed.<br />
In other words, road rage is a case of not having escaped the stadium of Neanderthalerism. For example, Road Ragers' way of proposing probably still is hitting a woman over the head with a bat and dragging her off to their cave...<br />
Why do you ask "why"? Human behaviour, amigo. Territorrial instincts The stress of being confined in too small a space, with everybody else around you intruding your personal space. It's the same as the difference between rural areas and cities: in the cities there's much more violent behavior because we're packed so close together that everybody is sitting inside everybody else's personal space.<br />
The same goes for cars...
I live in Los Angeles, possibly the road rage capital of the nation. Our traffic is a nightmare. Too many cars on the road - it's as simple as that. Rush hour(s) are particularly stressful. It can take forever to get to your destination, so you're already stressed. Then some moron cuts you off, runs a red light/stop sign, makes an illegal turn (no left turns at many intersections during rush hours), and it is just too much. You snap.<br />
UPDATE: I think it is that very lack of control. There is just nothing you can do - you can stress 'til you blow a blood vessel and the traffic will still be gridlocked. In fact, people have actually had heart attacks and died sitting in L.A. traffic.
Modern day living...as hurldog said...constantly.cramming too much into our days...it takes it's toll...result lack of tolerance, patience and manners..there's no excuse for it . Now sitting behind a wheel and muttering about other people driving is completely different...that's acceptable.
Oh absolutely, in my stepfathers case I was a death wish, he was a road demon !