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The Psychology of Speeding and Aggressive Driving

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Old 01-07-14, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default The Psychology of Speeding and Aggressive Driving

i'm really curious to know what the psychology behind speeding and aggressive driving is. i mean, we all know its bad, its against the law, we can kill ourselves or others--but yet why do we still do it?

the reason i'm bringing this topic up is twofold: 1) i've started contemplating quite a bit about reckless driving/speeding after seeing the amazing, powerful driving-safety video below; and even more paramount, 2) i've noticed my wife and i have quite a few fights in the car when i'm driving. i'm pretty calm for the most part when it comes to driving though..i speed only when i need to (yes, yes, i know) and don't try to **** off other drivers purposefully for my own entertainment or just bc i want to be a douche. however, every time my wife sits in the car with me at the wheel, it becomes a different story...the slightest thing can set me off and i'll start speeding like a madman without any care or regard for others but only to satisfy my fuming anger.

For instance, the following are common scenarios that turn me into asian hulk:
1) a driver is going slow in the left lane and won't move to the slower lanes
2) a driver cuts in front of me then slows down
3) a driver drives fast and reckless and cuts off other drivers
4) a driver is tailgating me or what i may personally deem as too close to my rear bumper
5) a driver that is trying to show off (e.g., bikers, mod cars, ricers, rich ******, etc.)
6) a driver who is trying to race me for no apparent reason
7) a driver who is blasting their music/exhaust too damn loud
8) a driver who had a lead foot for braking
9) a driver who has broken taillights or bulbs and obviously won't fix them
10) anything else that can occur at any moment.
(note: by drivers i also mean bikers and anything motorized on the road)

Here's what i don't get, when my wife is NOT in the car with me, and i'm the sole driver, any of the 1-10 scenarios that occur will usually not **** me off.. like the other day two different drivers cut me off, and a third kept braking obscenely early and hard always leaving three car lengths in front of them. sure i said to myself they're *******s, but i didn't retaliate.. i just kept driving normally. when others are in the car with me (family, friends, etc.) in instances with and without my wife, i won't act aggressive either... the patterns seems to be i blow things (on the road) out of proportion ONLY when my wife is in the car with me! i treat my wife like a queen majority of the time, will give her anything she wants and more some, spoil her rotten even though she's quite wholesome. do i turn into asian hulk behind the wheel because of my protectiveness over her? it doesn't make sense because why would i put her and i, and others in harms way via aggressive driving/speeding yet think that i'm protecting her somehow? so what is it that turns me into this driver who lacks self-control at any instant?

i really need to start getting a better handle on myself and my emotions. my wife and i are about to start a family soon and the last thing i would ever want to do is to put my family in danger. anyone who has similar experiences please share, i'm quite interested to know how you are handling things. i'm looking for open and honest experiences and advice from this lexus community.

NOTE: if you are a psychologist, wanting to be a psychologist, have taken psychology classes, or anything relevant and want to psychoanalyze me with your psychology bs, please don't. i can easily have my wife, who has her doctorate in psychology, do that for me.

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Old 01-07-14, 12:59 PM   #2
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as a driver it is your duty to ensure all passengers are safe. Pretty much the one thing I remind myself before I get mad at something in the road with passengers in the vehicle. It will bring you back down to earth quick. No reason to get mad at nobodys on the road that youll never see again.
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Old 01-07-14, 02:15 PM   #3
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It is not my business but it seems the problem is not you or your car, it is your wife. If my wife's presence inside the vehicles caused the real danger to myself, my wife and others on the road, then I would not sit in a car with my wife anymore. Dude, be careful.
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Old 01-07-14, 02:25 PM   #4
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I think most heterosexual men tend to be more aggressive when a woman is with us. A lot of times I think it could be saving face. We don't like to look like punks In front of a woman.

On the other hand it could be that you have suppressed your feelings around your wife and often feel powerless in your relationship with her so driving gives you the illusion that your in control. Those suppressed feelings are then expressed through the car towards her. It's all a projection of your inner reality in some way imo.

The good news is that on a long trip recently I noticed cars willingly got out of the way once they saw the grill and the lighting of the IS in their rear view mirror. Didn't have to flash the lights once.
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Old 01-07-14, 02:31 PM   #5
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a long time ago I used to try to get back at poor drivers by "one upping them" meaning if someone cut me off I might make it my mission to cut them off one time better.
doing this often times just escalated the issue to the point that things got out of control and in a few cases people actually acted out towards me. in 1 case that I recall a woman driver was simply pissed at the fact I pulled a little too close to her back bumper at a light. I guess I was in her "personal space" if you will.
long story short she had been driving a like a nut and I decided I didn't want to be behind her incase she slammed on the brakes. well she didn't like the fact I got in front of her so when we came to the next light she began tailgating me, so close that I feared if I were to simply let off the gas pedal for the upcoming red light she would hit me, and having no choice that's exactly what she did, bumped into me 3 times to be exact and when I came to stop at the light, set the brake and got out of the car to confront her about it she proceeded to push my car into the intersection at the red light!
clutch smoking and the whole bit! she managed to push my car about 12 feet, then backed up and drove through the now green light. I got her plate number and reported her. a cop contacted her and cited her for reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
ok so lesson learned.. some people need therapy and have anger issues, you cant really change that.
but what's worse some of those same people carry guns and that brings the situation to a whole other level!

what I have found is that driving with a dashcam video camera in my car does 2 things. 1 since I know my own actions are recorded I tend to have a cooler head. 2 knowing that some dumbass is going to have a hard time explaining their actions in court also gives me comfort knowing that if things turn into an accident I wont be at fault.
and 3 if someone does something really stupid chances are really good I have a plate number and description of the vehicle already recorded. I have spoken with police and if you have video evidence and are willing to sign a complaint, the police department can and may issue a ticket to the guilty party.

the problem with society is that for the most part people have a problem following the rules when they think no one is watching.
whenever law enforcement is present people act lie law abiding citizens and ive said this for years.. if law enforcement officers really wanted to be effective at enforcing the law they would stop driving around in these pretty black and white cars with blinky lights on top and start driving around in unmarked cars. we have several along I-25 and they are effective at catching people, but if more people made driving with a camera in the car commonplace there would be a lot less people acting a fool behind the wheel!

if you have ever watched "the first 48" on TV you'll notice more and more crimes are solved much faster by the use of video cameras. you could be the most convincing liar in the world and cannot lie your way out of a video!
unfortunately I don't think the criminals have caught onto the fact they are on camera in the same neighborhoods they murder and commit larceny in, heck even in stores where they know they are on camera and can easily be caught may not detour them from committing these acts. fortunately nobody ever accused the criminals of being smart enough to realize they are going to be the star of a show in court!

recently, my wife was almost hit in an intersection when someone made a left turn on red in front of her. I would have reported it but the memory stick needs to be larger as I didn't get to it in time before the video was overwritten, but had I got the video I would have turned the driver in.

as sane drivers we need to start using technology to make things happen when people put our lives at risk. if people started to realize they could get a ticket even when there is no cop around they might drive with a little less anger and a little more self control.
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