Road rage due to commutes

August, 2012 – The daily grind for some workers happens before they even enter the office. A new study from CareerBuilder found that between dealing with traffic, other drivers and construction, workers are becoming increasingly agitated in their commute. Fifty-eight percent of workers who drive to work said they experience road rage while driving to and from work. Nearly one-in-ten (nine percent) said they have gotten into a fight with another commuter.

Drive time does not appear to affect the chances of road rage. The vast majority of workers (83 percent) said they typically drive to work and, of those, 12 percent reported they took a job with a longer commute during or post-recession. While incidents of road rage are more prevalent among those with lengthy commutes, workers with short trips to their jobs aren’t immune. Thirty-seven percent of workers with commutes of less than five minutes said they experience road rage from time to time. The same goes for 54 percent of workers with commutes of less than ten minutes.

Women were more apt to feel road age – 61 percent compared to 56 percent of men. In terms of age groups, workers ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to experience road at 68 percent while workers 55 and older were the least likely to experience it at 47 percent.

Commuters are still partaking in risky driving behaviours. Nearly one-in-four workers (24 percent) who drive to work reported they have been involved in an accident. While a variety of factors contribute to accidents, cell phone use can be a culprit. Three-in-ten workers (30 percent) admitted they have texted while driving to and from work.

“Road rage is most often associated with running late and far commutes,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Planning ahead and taking advantage of flexible work arrangements can help alleviate stress levels and set a more positive vibe for the workday.”

Haefner recommends the following tips for a calmer commute:

  • Give yourself extra time. Set out clothes and prepare lunches the night before. Set your alarm 15 minutes early to allow for any minor setbacks that can happen in a busy household.
  • Request flexible work arrangements. See if you can start work at an off-peak time to avoid rush hour or explore whether telecommuting may be an option.
  • Try easy listening. Whether it means soothing music, books on tape or your favorite morning news program, listen to something that can help you forget the hour-long delay you just encountered.
  • Consider public transportation. Taking a bus or train can free you to finish up work, read or just relax.