Road rage: an exploratory study on aggressive driving experience on Indian roads

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;59(4):407-12. doi: 10.1177/0020764011431547.


Background: Driving on Indian roads is a stressful experience. A lacuna of research on aggressive driving experiences in the Indian set-up highlights the need to address this growing concern for individuals, society and mental health professionals.

Aim: To explore and compare driving-related anger triggers and anger expression among high- and low-angry Indian drivers.

Method: Two hundred randomly chosen drivers from the city of Delhi were administered a semi-structured questionnaire intended to understand driving-related aggression.

Results: Honking, overtaking from the wrong side, loud music in other cars and hot and humid climate significantly increased the risk of experiencing anger among high-angry drivers. High-angry drivers were significantly more likely to engage in direct and aggressive expression of anger, including overtaking, verbal abuse, yelling and arguing, not giving space to other drivers, fighting, and hitting and bumping other cars in protest. Passive anger expressions such as holding grudges against other drivers and eating or drinking something to cool down were significantly more likely to be used by low-angry drivers.

Conclusions: Drivers who are high on anger have a significantly higher risk of experiencing anger triggered by a variety of individual and environmental factors on Indian roads and are more susceptible to engage in aggressive driving behaviour.

Keywords: Anger triggers; Indian roads; active and passive ways of anger expression; road rage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • ROC Curve
  • Rage / physiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult