- Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: Prometheus Books; No Edition Stated edition (October 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1573928461
- ISBN-13: 978-1573928465
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,226,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Road Rage and Aggressive Driving: Steering Clear of Highway Warfare Paperback – October 1, 2000
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"...the definitive book on the aggressive driving epidemic..." -- Palo Alto Daily News, November 4, 2000
About the Author
Leon James, Ph.D. (Honolulu, HI), the nation's foremost authority on road rage and aggressive driving, is frequently quoted in the nation's press and has raised the standard of discussion on this topic. His expert testimony at congressional hearings in July 1997 helped legislators to realize that aggressive driving is a cultural problem. Diane Nahl, Ph.D. (Honolulu, HI), is associate professor of Information and Computer Sciences in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii and is the founder of the new field of Driving Informatics. Dr. Nahl and Dr. James have authored the RoadRageous aggressive-driving video course, which is used in driving schools and court-mandated traffic violator schools. They're also active in aggressive-driving prevention training for law enforcement, and their Web site at DrDriving.org provides services for older drivers, commercial drivers, and teen drivers.
Top customer reviews
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Overall, this book is well worth reading. It's divided into 3 parts: part I describes the problem of road rage and cites some horrific incidents; part II is a "self-help" manual for reducing driving stress and improving one's "emotional intelligence"; section III consists of misc. topics and is a bit dated since this book was published in 2000. Each chapter cites a variety of references and academic studies; however, because of this, the writing and organization are a bit jumbled.
I'm fascinated by road rage because it's amazing how people with no criminal background can commit extreme violence with so little provocation....driving literally taps into the cavemen inside us all. Basically, reducing road rage is about emphatizing with other drivers (letting other drivers into your lane which is what you'd want in their place; or slowing down when someone makes a right-turn, which is again what you'd want in their place). It's also about becoming less competitive- realizing how futile it is. The final step is to NOT respond with insane fury when someone provokes you without cause (like giving you the finger)....in "Mean Genes" (2000), I read that evolutionary psychologists believe we retaliate so instantly and without thinking because we evolved in small communities where it was important to maintain one's reputation because we would encounter the same people time and time again- in the case of driving today, the chances of encountering the same driver again are near-zero, so we should just let it go...easier said then done. (Also, there's a BIG difference between retaliating with a fist fight and while moving in a hunk of steel at 70mph!)
One thing the authors get wrong is when they insist road rage is learned behavior (esp due to parental influence) vs. biology. Well, in that case (for biblical fundamentalists), Adam and Eve must have been abusive parents- how else could the cycle of violence have begun?
What is missing from this relatively good book is the physiological causes of road rage, or excessive anger in general, intermittent explosive disorder, such as a poor diet or a diet lacking the B-vitamins group. I have found that driving hungry or tired or stressed out definitely increases the propensity of something negative happening while driving if one is not able to maintain self-control. What this book didn't mention was much more specific, and scary: the killer instinct. If drivers are not careful, one middle finger, one brandished weapon, one-cut off too many may cause the emotionally unstable or frail driver to lose composure. Then we won't know anything about it until we see it reported in the papers.
The doctors give good advice for people who have problems controlling their tempers, and that's what dealing with road rage is all about: control. God help you if you have a lack of it.
Isn't some of our Ire a reaction to stupdity???