The Road Rage is Strong With This One

You are driving down the road to the nearest grocery store to get some bread. You slow down as you get to a yellow traffic light and the person behind you slams on their brakes thinking they would have made the yellow no problem. Alas, you are now the victim of something very serious: ROAD RAGE, also known as intermittent explosive disorder.

Then again, at some point in your life you were undoubtedly that person braking or flipping out at another driver for something “stupid” they had done. According to dmv.org:

Aggressive drivers routinely:

  • Tailgate
  • Use their horn
  • Flash their headlights
  • Change lanes quickly and often
  • Gesture to other drivers
  • Talk on their cell phone

Shockingly, 1500 people a year are seriously injured or killed in senseless traffic disputes. It doesn’t help that most of us, myself included, are likely texting while driving or talking on their cell phone, causing all kinds of traffic violations. This adds to the already amassing multitude of cars which unfortunately leads to traffic buildups (although clearly there are other factors involved this is one that could be realistically avoided). In essence, with all the distractions in our daily life, WE directly create those aggressive drivers.

And so what? I know, I’ll just be passive and let all the other drivers be aggressive, that wont affect me… WELL! Aggressive drivers will undoubtedly cut you off if you are swerving while texting or not paying attention to the road or simply being a passive, safe driver, and this action of cutting someone off is one of the most aggravating experiences of driving. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health, or CAMH, has yielded some interesting results from accumulated online reporting participants. It seems that:

Cutting in and weaving, speeding, and hostile displays are among the top online complaints posted by drivers.

You mean that person I just cut off will go home to blog about it? They will go and write a Wondergressive article pertaining to it with hopes that a chain reaction occurs and eventually drivers become more aware and respectful of their fellow drivers? And I wonder why I Rage on the Road so much. Too many shattered hopes and dreams.

As recommended by dmv.org, if you can’t help your Road Rage then ease it by venting:

Talk to a friend or family member about the driving experience―telling the story can relieve your stress. Some driving clubs or online discussions offer members a chance to vent their frustration.

I admit it, I am a prime example of someone suffering from intermittent explosive disorder. I truly cannot wait to trade in my car for a shiny brand new blimp! Life would just be so much easier. No traffic, no a-holes to cut you off, no worries about cops and obeying the rules of the road, no speed limits or traffic lights. Only those damn birds to watch out for. That, and the bad weather/gusts of wind that you are likely to encounter. Let’s not forget about the other a-holes with their brand new blimps. ARGH! GET OUT OF MY WAY ALREADY!

I believe the best way to limit anger/traffic/congestion/violations is to put into act a proposal that one of my managers laid out for me. He suggests that anyone who causes traffic or gets in an accident and is solely at fault for the accident should have to get in front of everyone on TV and/or in a public setting and give a formal apology. Let’s see how many people risk going on the freeway while texting or using their cell phone THEN! Cheers!

 

Sources:

NBCnews: Road Rage gets medical diagnosis

DMV: Road Rage: How to Deal with It

AAA Foundation: Aggressive Driving

Science Direct: Texting While Driving

Science Direct: Dialling and Driving

Center for Addiction and Mental Health, or CAMH

CAMH: Cutting In and Weaving Irritates Drivers

Wondergressive: Save the Food Pyramid

Wondergressive: Blimps are the Future!

Wondergressive: Fly Away Home

Fly Away Home: How Birds Evolve with Automobile Traffic

Those that learn, earn their place. It seems that even birds are taking this survival of the fittest motto to heart in a new unique way. A study has recently yielded that birds may be learning from each other about our speed demon tendencies. The truth is, I vaguely remember the last time I saw roadkill on the highway during my commute to work. Even so, reportedly:

An estimated 80 million birds are killed by colliding with vehicles on U. S. roads each year, and millions more die annually in Europe and elsewhere.

Yes, those numbers do seem ridiculously high, but there may be hope for our little companions that fly near our speedy death machines. Researchers Charles R. Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown in Nebraska found that although the swallow population increased over their 30 year study period, the death by vehicle fatality of swallows sharply decreased from 1983 to 2012. Swallows tend to learn from their neighbors, which is a trait shared by many animals, and natural instinct may be evolving in species to guide them away from human dangers.

The study also mentions that the birds living near highways have, through a possible natural selection, evolved to have smaller wingspans for quicker movements vertically in the air allowing for a zippy escape from oncoming traffic. If a bird with a larger wingspan decided to fly into traffic, it would have a harder time flying directly up and away from danger than its smaller counterpart because of the lower wing loading of longer wings.

What does it all mean? Is mother nature preparing against human interaction? Have we affected our animal neighbors so much that they have to develop an internal mechanism to evolve with our advancing technology? What happens when we start hovering from place to place? Will the animals adapt to our flight? Or will we simply find more animals mourning each other’s deaths as humans continue to evolve?

At least it is nice to know that humans get the respect they deserve. I wonder what else we can passively bend to our will!

 

Research:

Where Has Roadkill Gone

Wing Loading

Wondergressive – Cannabis Cures Cancer

Wondergressive – Birds Mourn Death

Wondergressive – Blimps are the Future!

Wondergressive – The Folly of High Speed Rail in America

A New Tune for Grasshoppers

The days are long gone when the noise of crickets filled the city nights. I’m sure being overtaken by the sound of traffic was depressing for many animals, but they’re not all just laying down and dying. Some city grasshoppers have started changing their tune. They’re not so depressed anymore, or so quiet.

Grasshoppers in urban areas are changing the tune of their courtship songs so as to be heard over the sound of traffic.

A research team from the University of Bielefeld Germany have discovered some grasshoppers have started to change the frequency of their song to be heard over the roar of vehicles. This evolutionary change in grasshoppers could is very exciting to see. I can only imagine what the future will bring…
Sources:

http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/320/20121123/grasshoppers-change-courtship-tunes-cope-urban-noises.htm

http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/(en)/

 

Related Wondergressive Articles:

Why Don’t We Eat Insects?

A Tick is Turning People into Vegetarians for Life

Mystery of the Dying/Disappearing Honeybees Solved

Healthy Honey Bees

Natural, Living Pesticides