Road rage getting worse in Houston

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Road rage getting worse in Houston: How to cope

HOUSTON, TX- According to Autovantage, Houston drivers are the least courteous city in the country.

Why? We asked Dr. Steve Albrecht, a stress management expert who visits Houston often and has written about the psychology of road rage. “One, I think the hot weather makes people irritable. Two, construction on the highway. Rush hour is now starting earlier and earlier and ending later and later,” he explains. “I think people get very frustrated. I think their patience level for other people is not great. They’re trying to multi-task as they drive. And also I think there’s kind of a power and control thing some people have where they just don’t want to let you into the lane next to you.”

Montrose resident Leah Estick is a proud rager, “I have no problem expressing my road rage. I have had a number of birds flipped up towards me and towards them. Usually, if I’m going honk at you, it’s going be all the way through the light until I can no longer see your car.”

A lot of us do that, but Dr. Steve says it gets even more serious,”We see all kinds of really dangerous or destructive behaviors: people stomping on the brakes, people cutting people off, hitting people in cars. We see fights on the side of the road way, weapons– it’s really quite intense.”

He adds that preventing your own road rage is fairly simple,”Pay attention to your own driving. Don’t worry about anybody else. And also breathe. Slow down your breathing. Take deep and long, steady breaths, so you keep your pulse rate down and your blood pressure down. Focus on getting home safely.”

For more on this story, check out this month’s issue of Houstonia.