Road Rage

[Life ★★★]

traffic-jams-lead-to-road-rage

(P1) Road rage is aggressive behavior by drivers on the road.  It has become so common that some psychologists say it is a mental disorder. Many things can cause road rage. Some driving experts think road rage occurs because people watch chase scenes on TV. Others watch Formula One races and want to copy their favorite driver. Road rage results in accidents, which can lead to serious injuries or the death of other road participants.

(P2) In today’s world, driving is a very stressful and risky activity. A driver must be alert at all times and not get distracted by other things, like phone calls or fellow drivers. When a motorist becomes angry they often do wrong things, which lead to aggressive behavior. Drivers tend to change lanes frequently or increase their speed to overtake another car because they are not patient enough. Others flash their lights all the time to show their impatience. Road rage also includes gestures or shouting towards other drivers, bad language or threatening others.

The most important causes of road rage are

  • bad behavior by other motorists
  • getting into traffic jams
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • being tired due to work or stress
  • problems with the family
  • having a bad day

(P3) Fortunately, many things can be done to avoid road rage. For one, you can try to calm down as far as possible and not become aggressive yourself towards other drivers. You can also try to get farther away from aggressive drivers. You might also think about taking your time in getting to the place you are going to. Listen to music and drive with enough rest. You might also try pulling over for a break and getting some fresh air before you continue on the road.

(P4) Scientists in Switzerland are working on software that may help combat road rage. They are testing a special camera that can be mounted on the dashboard of your car.  It recognizes your facial expressions and judges by the way you look if soft and calming music should be turned on.

WORDS: 343

SOURCE: http://www.english-online.at/society/road-rage/road-rage-aggressive-behaviour.htm

VOCABULARY: road rage, psychologists, mental disorder, lanes, overtake, flash, impatience, gestures, avoid, dashboard, judges

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why do you think drivers have road rage?
  3. Have you ever been involved in a road rage incident? If yes, explain.
  4. Is there a lot of traffic jams in your city?
  5. Have you ever seen a road rage incident? If yes, explain.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Lead to (P1)
  • Traffic jams (P2)
  • Calm down (P3)
  • Going to (P3)
  • Turned on (P4)

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