Poor traffic management is fuelling road rage, found a study of 500 regular drivers in Delhi and the NCR. All respondents said they saw at least one incident of road rage --shouting, fighting or using abusive language — on city roads.
Four of every five people quizzed said an improvement in traffic situation would help cool tempers, reports the study of people between 18 and 60 years, by Fortis Healthcare.
The data will be presented at the Annual National Conference of Indian Psychiatric Society in Delhi next week.
“The fast pace of urban living is one of the contributing factors for stress, which translates into deviant behaviour on the roads,” said lead researcher Dr Sameer Malhotra, head, department of psychiatry at Fortis Healthcare.
“The pressures of work, unnecessary honking, rude gestures by passersby, jaywalking, add to aggression, making stressed people snap,” he said.
“When traffic was better managed during the Commonwealth Games, there were almost no cases of road rage, added Malhotra.
An HT-C fore 10-city survey of 25- to 50-year-olds last month also showed that two in five lose their temper each day, while just one in three get a full night’s sleep. “Contrary to popular perception, letting it rip is the worst thing is the worse thing you can do in a stressful situation as it escalates aggression and does nothing to resolve the situation,” says Dr Rajesh Sagar, associate professor, department of psychiatry, AIIMS.
Agrees Dr Samir Parikh, head of psychiatry, Max Healthcare: “MNC culture brings with it cut-throat competition, shorter deadlines, little family time and fewer holidays. This suppressed stress often manifests itself in the form of road rage and other aggressive behaviours.”