When you’re driving, and someone makes a bone-headed move, honks, or cuts you off – do you turn into the Hulk and get road rage?
Well, you might want to practice forgiveness and take deep breaths, instead. Researchers at Australia’s University of The Sunshine Coast put study participants into driving simulators that measured heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety levels – and had them encounter a variety of drivers… from polite and considerate ones, to aggressive and distracted ones.
The result: when participants drove alongside rude, aggressive drivers – who cut them off, tailgated and honked – their blood pressure spiked. They also became more aggressive and distracted, had more near-crashes with other cars and pedestrians.
They were also more likely to miss a turn, and drive off the road.
And research from MIT shows the stress of road rage can last for your entire commute – and beyond. And that kind of chronic stress boosts blood pressure – and raises your risk of heart disease within 6 years. So forgive bad drivers – for your heart’s sake.