HR Strange But True!
September 28, 2006

Have you ever "lost it" with your fellow commuters, yelling and gesturing in your car, maybe even signaling "We're number one" with the wrong digit? Well, you're not alone. In fact, you're in the majority.

Fifty-nine percent of workers surveyed by admitted to experiencing road rage while traveling to and from work. Ten percent said they usually or always experience road rage during their commute.

The survey, completed in June 2006, included more than 2,200 workers nationwide.

The survey found that driving is the primary means of getting to work for nearly 85 percent of workers. Not surprisingly, incidents of road rage climb with the length of the commute. Even so, 30 percent of workers with commutes of less than five minutes still said they experienced road rage on occasion. And that number rises to 42 percent for workers with commutes of less than 10 minutes.

Watch out, guys -- women (60 percent) are more likely to feel road rage than men (57 percent).

"A frustrating commute can set a negative tone for the day, sometimes impacting productivity and employee or client relations," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at "One-in-five workers say they would take a job with a pay cut in exchange for a shorter distance between their home and their workplace. While a new job may be the answer for some, the key to a manageable commute is planning ahead and finding a way to relax."

Haefner offered the following tips for a calmer, more enjoyable commute:

  1. Lose the lead foot -- lost tempers and traffic weaving are often signs of running late. Leave a few minutes early to give yourself extra time in case you come across heavy traffic, bad weather, train crossings and other morning disasters.
  2. It's nothing personal -- remember, the other drivers aren't out to get you. People who hit the brakes without apparent reason, drive well below the speed limit, daydream, sit still while other cars are moving, etc. are usually just bad drivers.
  3. Early to bed -- yawning drivers tend to get more agitated behind the wheel. Try to work in a good night's sleep and healthy breakfast, so you can go to work feeling refreshed and ready to take on rush hour.
  4. Easy listening -- seventy-two percent of workers say they listen to music to pass the time in transit. Soothing music or books on tape can help you to relax during bumper to bumper delays.
  5. Breathe -- the next time you want to emphatically inform a fellow commuter of how he/she drives, take a few deep breaths instead. It can help you keep centered and control stress levels.


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