What You Need To Know About Road Rage


What You Need To Know About Road Rage

Road rage is something many of us if not most of us struggle with from time to time. Whether you are the driver that’s tailgating, excessively honking, racing, or intimidating others as a result of  the other driver’s actions or the passenger freaking out because of your driver’s actions, it’s a topic we can all relate to. Join us this week for what you need to know about road rage and few tips on how to stop brake checking and start checking yourself.

In this episode we talk about:

This week’s episode is all about Road Rage, what it looks like, tools to help you manage your road rage, and what you need to know.

Road rage can look like

  • Excessive honking of the horn
  • Strong use of expletives (aka insults and swearing)
  • Brake checking
  • Tailgating
  • Sending passive aggressive, or plain aggressive messages through the use of your car

The Therapists Uncut team discusses how the Fight, Flight, or Freeze response may kick in when you are highly agitated by another driver’s actions. Road rage is typically expressed in the form of “fight” through passive aggressive or just plain aggressive actions. Or maybe you are a driver who experiences a heightened startle response, possible due to a previously related trauma or car accident.

“There are some mental health illnesses that have more of a startle response or that anxiety component fight, flight, freeze. Those individuals are going to have a harder time driving…trauma from previous car accidents.” – Jolene Daly

Stop brake checking and start checking yourself. “

How do you respond when someone is speeding passed you, cuts you off, or brake checks you? What’s your own personal response?” – Alyssa Najera

Increased startle response, anxiety, and or tension in the car are a common responses someone may experience after experiencing a car accident. Pay attention to if you are experiencing exaggerated responses while driving or being a passenger and determine whether or not there are things that you need to gain better awareness of and/or control over.

Jolene also talk about the injustice and personalization component that relates to road rage.

“What makes you think that you get to cut me off because you’re going someplace that’s maybe more important than me?”  But, really, it’s not personal.

Or “Maybe they’re just complete assholes. But, even if they are that’s their problem, not mine.”- Alyssa Najera

Tools to help you manage your road rage

  • Don’t Personalize: It’s not personal. The other driver does not who you are (in most scenarios) and is not out go get you personally.
  • Take Deep Breaths: It really does help.
  • Practice compassion and re-frames: You don’t know what’s going with the other driver. Practicing compassion can help you manage your own anger or feelings of injustice about that driver’s actions.

“There are a lot of people in society who are completely uncomfortable driving for a variety of reasons. . .That person might be having significant anxiety response to driving and sometimes it’s because of a previous motor vehicle accident and sometimes it’s a different form of trauma.” – Nikki Young

What you need to know about Road Rage

  • Evaluate your overall anger response: Is this road rage only specific to when you drive or are you or others noticing an increased anger response in other situations also?
  • Assess your personal responses to the things that trigger you and ask yourself how well or not well you manage those responses
  • If your response to road rage results in actions that put others in danger, check yourself and reflect on what needs to change.

Thanks for listening and see you next week on Therapists Uncut!

Who we are:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don’t worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at catalystcounselinginc.com

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene’s punchlines.  She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at smalltowncounselingca.com or alyssanajera.com.

Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years.  She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You’ll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at dalymft.com.


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria