Definition and Types of Road Rage
(noun) A fit of violent anger by the driver of an automobile,
especially one directed toward and endangering other
motorists or pedestrians.
Habitual road rage: is learned behavior, such as drivers who
have learned to drive in an aggressive manner.
Situational road rage: is based on the situation that surrounds
the driver, such as the driver receiving bad news and
unintentionally driving aggressively.
Heavy traffic or gridlock
Making obscene gestures to other
Changing lanes too quickly and cutting
another driver off
Overusing the car horn
Poor time management skills
Anger is one of the most common causes. Situations that can cause road rage
Acts of Declaration of Road Rage War
Honking at someone.
Giving an offensive hand gesture.
Yelling at someone or swearing.
Revving your engine to indicate
Shining your high beams in
Deliberately cutting someone off.
Braking suddenly to punish a tailgater.
Blocking a lane.
Do not use your car to "vent"
Loosen up, breathe
Do not take things personally
Be a polite driver
Do not respond or engage other drivers.
There are no specific laws that deal with road rage incidents but the rules of the road and
the criminal law apply to these situations in the same way as they apply in other situations.
In Saskatchewan The Traffic Safety Act outlines the rules of the road. These include things
like driving with 'due care and attention', not speeding, making a lane change only when
there is sufficient room and signalling first, not speeding up when someone is passing you,
not following other vehicles too closely and yielding the right of way to other vehicles when
required. There are also a number of criminal offences related to driving including
dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene of an accident. As well, road rage could
lead to charges for things like assault or criminal negligence.
While none of these laws deal specifically with road rage courts may be inclined to hand out
more severe sentences if a crime was fuelled by road rage. In one case the offender had
been involved in an altercation with the driver of another car. The altercation involved 'road
rage' on both sides and actions such as cutting off vehicles, ramming vehicles and a fist fight
on the side of the road. After the initial incident the offender followed the other vehicle to
the police station, got out of the car and proceeded to attack one of the passengers of the
other car by kicking her in the knee and then spitting on her when she was on the ground.
Even a brief look at situations involving road rage shows that this kind of behaviour can have
very serious consequences for everyone involved. A car in the hands of a driver who is out of
control because of anger can become a deadly weapon.
Penalties (dangerous behaviours)
Immediate 7-day licence suspension and 7-day vehicle impoundment at
roadside when police officer has reasonable and probably grounds to believe
offence was committed
Fines from $2000 - $10 000
Count impose DL suspension up to 10 years for second conviction within 10 years
Accumulation of 6 demerit points, max 2 year licence suspension for first and max
6 months jail time
Only 15% of men and 22% of women considered themselves to be drivers who don’t engage in
any aggressive behaviour.
8 in 10 Canadian drivers are guilty or road rage like behaviour. 83% are men, 76% are women.
While most are guilty of speeding, Quebecers are least likely to involve themselves in road
rage situations. (only 48%)
2 in 5 people admit to using profanity during traffic.
Young drivers aged 18 to 34 are most guilty of cutting people off.
1 in 5 are guilty of tailgating.
Seeing other drivers distracted is the most common trigger for road rage behaviour.
Men tend to get more road rage when they are cut off while women tend to get road rage
when they are running late.
Young drivers under the age of 45 are more likely to blame a bad day for their road rage as
opposed to those 45 years or older.
Real Life Story
When I was a kid in the early 1970s, a driver cut my father off while we were driving home from
dinner. He blew the horn, and the front passenger flipped the bird and threw an empty beer bottle.
My father had an early version of road rage from time to time, as he hated people who would cause
him to brake or swerve due to bad driving. He also hated hippies. Now, his definition of "hippies"
was pretty broad. Any young people with really long hair and tattered clothes were hippies in his
As it turns out, both the driver and the front passenger of the beat-up car were hippies, and there
was a female hippie in the back seat. The door-to-door yelling ensued, much to the horror of me,
my younger brother, and especially my mother. When my father finally screamed at them, "PULL
OVER!" we got really upset, assuming they would kill him. (The Manson Family killings had recently
taken place, not far from where we lived in fact, so my young mind assumed that any hippie, when
provoked, would turn into a raging murderer. They tried to get away by turning left, but ended up in
a dead end in the parking lot of a lumber yard. Dad blocked them in, and we were horrified at what
was about to happen. But then it got really comical. See, Dad (at the time) was 6'-5" and about 260
pounds, whereas the braver of the two hippies that came out of the car to confront him was about
5'-9" and all of 160 pounds. As Dad climbed out of our car, the guy's eyes opened up really wide,
even though he was still trying to look brave. The other two who'd stayed in the car promptly locked
the doors. Dad then began to scream at the guy, the way a drill sergeant would yell at a recruit in
boot camp. The hippie was making a feeble effort at yelling back, and then it got even funnier. Dad
went from just pointing his finger at the guy and his long hair, to grabbing the guy's hair and yanking
it downward, and the parts of dialogue that weren't pure profanity consisted of lots of "WHY DON'T
YOU GET A HAIRCUT???" The hippie then went into the defensive move of wrapping his arms around
his own head and running back to the car, pleading with the other two to let him in. With all three
of them cowering in the car, Dad got in a few more verbal jabs and finger points before getting back
in the car and heading home. Sure, they could have had a gun or knife or something, but they didn't,
so we laughed all the way home.
1. You are driving your younger sibling to their school, driving at the speed limit
when suddenly a car from a side street rushes out and ends up behind you. The
driver begins to blast their horn at you, clearly wanting you to go faster. What do
What you should do is: Since you are doing the speed limit you ignore them. They
begin to tailgate you, you respond by speeding up enough to give you back your
cushion of space.
2. You are driving to a movie when suddenly someone from the lane to your left
swerves in front of you without signalling cutting you off. What do you do?
a) Flip them off
b) Roll down your window to yell
c) Blast your horn
d) Follow them to teach them a lesson
e) None of the above
You should do none of these things. You should keep aware of the driver, now
that you know they are reckless, not take it personally, and focus on getting to
your movie safe.
3. The driver behind you does not allow you to have your cushion of space.
Instead they continue to tailgate, blasting their horn. You realize after a few
blocks that they are following you. You worry for your safety, and your younger
sibling, knowing the driver behind is experiencing road rage and may be
dangerous. What do you do?
You should: Not go to your intended destination, continue past it. Drive around
randomly, if they continue to follow you head to a public place, if you really feel
in danger a police station. Take down the drivers licence plate and vehicle info.
Do not stop your car if you can avoid it.