Road rage and texting while driving have become serious concerns, the latter particularly in the last several years – there are even Wikipedia entries for both. Many U.S. states have either banned or are in the process of banning people from texting while they’re behind the wheel. Other states have implemented restrictions, such as age, and still others have outlawed cell phone use in general for some drivers. Road rage, unfortunately, is much harder to spot before it has already run its course.
According to a study posted on CareerBuilder’s website, texting while driving remains a problem in the U.S. A third of the workers who participated in the survey admitted that they have texted while driving to and from work. Nearly one-fourth (24%) of the participants who drive to work reported having been involved in a car accident – though not necessarily an accident caused by someone checking text messages.
The majority of workers, at 83 percent, usually drive to work and, of those participants, 12 percent had taken jobs with longer commutes around the time of recession. As if texting was not enough for drivers to contend with, a little more than half of the workers in the study admitted to experiencing road rage on their way to and from the office. Around nine percent had even been in a fight with another person commuting.
Road rage is more likely to be a factor for longer commutes, but 37 percent of workers with commutes shorter than five minutes have still been involved with road rage. Fifty-four percent of workers, whose commutes were less than ten minutes, said the same thing. According to the study, 61 percent of women have felt the effects of road rage, compared to only 56 percent of men. The majority of younger workers, ages 25 to 34, also succumbed to road rage (68%), while workers who are 55 or older were less likely to get increasingly irate in the driver’s seat – keeping less than half at 47 percent.
“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 offered several recommendations to circumvent road rage. Extra time in the morning may help: setting out clothes and preparing lunch the night before and setting the alarm clock 15 minutes early. Employees could request flexible hours at work to avoid rush hour or possibly to telecommute. Workers might also try easy listening, such as soothing music, books-on-tape or a news program. And there’s always a possibility of public transportation.
The online survey was conducted within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder and took place from May 14 to June 4, 2012. Participating in the study were 3,892 U.S. workers, 18 and older, employed full-time and not self-employed or working government jobs.