Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

Are you an angry or aggressive driver?

Lindsay, Aubrey, Michelle and Jessica discuss road rage in today’s English conversation with multiple speakers.

Listen in as the All Ears English team share their experiences and opinions about this very common phenomenon.

Use this lesson as a way to improve your ability to listen to fast English conversation with multiple native speakers.

What is Road Rage?

Road rage is defined as violent anger caused by the stress and frustration involved in driving a motor vehicle in difficult conditions.

Aubrey shares that driving is a common topic that is brought up in conversations with friends because the majority of us have either witnessed it or felt it ourselves.

We all have our own story to tell about experiencing road rage.

What is Your Road Rage Story?

The last time Lindsay remembers her encounter with someone having road rage was when she was in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lived near a crowded street. It was a rainy Friday evening which is a time when many people probably experience road rage.

She heard someone honking their horn for three straight minutes.

It was horrible and unnecessary.

Lindsay shared that, in her experience, the amount of people with road rage she encountered depends on the location.

She is residing in Colorado, and she finds people there are more relaxed or “chill” and rarely get road rage.

Jessica is excited to honk her horn because she rarely gets to do it.

She is not as aggressive as the person in Lindsay’s story but she would honk her horn when the occasion arises.

The Danger of Road Rage

Michelle has a hesitancy to honk when frustrated while driving because she doesn’t want to create trouble with other drivers.

You can never tell what the other drivers are thinking in a very stressful situation.

Jessica agrees with this because in America people have guns.

Pairing angry people with guns can be dangerous.

Road rage is when your animal brain takes over and clouds your judgement when you are very angry.

Aubrey shares statistics that 50% of car accidents involve road rage which accounts for 30 deaths and 1800 injuries in America per year.

There is a difference between aggressive driving and actual road rage according to the MVD (Motor Vehicle Division).

  • Aggressive driving is more of what the All Ears English team are talking about which is honking your horn or yelling.
  • Road rage is an actual assault using your motor vehicle and causing harm to others.

Aggressive driving is common but if you take it too far where you tailgate or purposefully cut off someone just to show your anger, that is absolute road rage.

Your actions may lead to an accident or cause someone to make a mistake and damage other cars or injure others.

Emotions When Driving

Jessica asks the team if they get emotional when they are driving.

In her experience, she rarely gets angry because she doesn’t see any reason to get so frustrated if someone cuts you off or is a slow driver.

It can annoy her but it doesn’t enrage her. Lindsay shares that she believes it depends on the area where you are driving.

If you are in a place where others get easily annoyed when driving through heavy traffic, you can feel the same way.

Aubrey adds that the emotions you feel when you’re driving comes from stress and frustration about something else and it just so happens that you’re driving and now you’re taking it up with the people around you.

Do You Use Gestures When Angry?

There are certain gestures that have the same meaning in different cultures.

Jessica recommends you look up the term “flip the bird.”

Flip the bird is what you say when someone raises their middle finger at someone as a sign of contempt or anger.

Jessica shares that she is sensitive and if someone flips her off or yells bad words at her, she feels sad for a couple of hours.

Michelle would feel the same way. She is not much of a driver because she lives in the city.

But she would experience the aggression of other people when she is out walking.

Someone would flip her off or yell bad words and it makes her feel awful.

Aubrey on the other hand would flip the bird a couple of times or most likely would give the other person a thumbs up and sarcastically say “Good job!”

She admits she can get confrontational when she is annoyed when driving.

Road Rage Stereotype

Michelle brings up the term “this guy.”

She mentions that when you are on the road and pointing out a person who is either cutting you off or driving in the wrong lane, you always assume it is a guy driving.

It is a stereotype, but as Lindsay would say, there is a reason for that.

She shares that guys in their 20’s are in the most expensive insurance category because they are most likely to get into accidents.

Jessica then asks is there a generational stereotype related to road rage.

She shares that her parents are very angry drivers.

She would ride with her mother and she would witness her yelling and honking her horn.

She easily gets aggravated when driving.

Takeaway

When driving you should be responsible and not let negative emotions get the best of you.

A little patience and compassion don’t cost you anything.

So always make the constant choice to be kind in whatever situation you are in.

Today’s topic is a good way to improve your English speaking and listening skills especially when you are listening to a group of many native speakers who speak at the same time.

The conversation between the All Ears English team is a real-life conversation between native English speakers.

Take the terms used and apply them to your daily dialogues with friends and family to bring up your confidence in talking and listening in English.

Is road rage a thing in your country?

Share it with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear what your own experiences are about today’s topic.

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