Tailoring. Frantic use of horns. Blow through the red lights. Passage on double yellow lines. Speeding.
If you drive on the roads these days, you have noticed an increase in all of these behaviors. It doesn’t matter where you live or drive: whether you are on the freeway or on a bumpy country road, it becomes more and more new to witness polite and respectful behavior of the people behind the wheel and to more and more frequent to see the pure asshole predominant on the roads of this country.
And as one of the many sources noted, it is not your imagination.
If you think people are driving recklessly these days, you are not mistaken. And the experts put the blame on COVID-19[female[feminine pandemic.
Death of car wrecks are up 7% in 2020 and 18% in the first 6 months of this year – the highest in 14 years.
According to those responsible for monitoring driver behavior, at the onset of the pandemic, the fact that there were far fewer vehicles on the road apparently prompted many Americans to channel their inner “Mad Max”, regardless of the speed limits and other road safety laws. to get to where they wanted to go, and to hell with anyone unfortunate enough to get in their way.
Experts say bad behavior is a direct reflection of the nation’s mental state. The pandemic has left us feeling isolated, lonely and depressed, and it affects the way we drive.
However, once people got out, the problem did not go away. It just became “Mad Max” with more cars on the road. One statistic was noted in particular: The deaths of people in the poorest communities have increased faster than the overall death rate, a disparity that some say “may reflect a deeper sense of hopelessness in the poorest communities. poorest hit hardest by the pandemic, ”and the fact that low-income Americans made up the lion’s share of so-called“ essential workers, ”many of whom had to be on the road just to get to work or to perform jobs. deliveries to places like Amazon and UPS, for example, where credit for performance work was tied to speed and efficiency.
Misconduct during the COVID-19 pandemic, however, shows no particular loyalty to its economic situation:
In New York City, super cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis set the empty streets ablaze, with roaring engines disturbing residents trying to sleep. Motorists from coast to coast have been ticketed at breakneck speed.
The genesis of some of these attitudes towards driving has also been linked directly by some psychiatric professionals to other sociological factors. At this point, the roads are one of the few places where all Americans, regardless of their political beliefs or beliefs, tend to implicitly trust each other. It is a confidence born in large part from the instinct of self-preservation: a slight miscalculation – a moment of distraction, a wrong move – can endanger not only others, but also ourselves.
It therefore follows that when a subset of the population declares itself exempt from other social considerations and responsibilities (such as wearing a mask to avoid infecting others with a virus, or honoring the choices of others in democratic elections), they would channel that same feeling of contempt for the act of driving.
Dr David Spiegel is the Associate Chairman of Psychiatry at Stanford University:
Beyond identifying the risks, Dr Spiegel said there are also the risk takers. NHTSA research found driving habits have changed dramatically since the declaration of health emergency of March 2020. Behaviors such as speeding, driving under the influence and driving unbuckled.
Dr Spiegel believes these driver actions reflect the discontent seen throughout the pandemic.
“If I don’t have to be vaccinated, I must not stop at red lights, I must not respect the speed limits”, he criticized. “This attitude of not having social responsibility is very dangerous.”
As stated above, the phenomenon of dangerous driving is not limited to any particular region or driving environment: “The same statistics reflecting figures for 2020 show that deaths are on the rise on city roads, rural areas, highways and secondary roads. There were increases day and night, and in all age groups between 16 and 65. “
“This fundamental lack of respect for social norms harms us all,” continued Dr Spiegel. “And that puts us all at risk. It really is.”
The Executive Chairman of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association agrees:
“For the record, we hear from governors’ offices across the country that this is a symptom and a sign of the general lack of consideration we show for other citizens, whether it’s wearing masks, do not get vaccinated or drive. ” he said. “It’s very aggressive. It’s very selfish.
NHTSA research into driving habits since the onset of the pandemic has also shown a noticeable increase in injuries among people who did not wear seat belts, reflecting an increased liking for risk-taking as well as a disregard. blissful of basic physics: if your car crashes into a wall, say, at a speed of 60 MPH, the car will stop, but your body continues to move at 60 MPH – until it hits something inside the vehicle. And human bodies are not designed to crash into objects like steering wheels, dashboards or windshields at 60 MPH. They really aren’t, despite the airbags.
One of the things I remember my dad telling me after I got my driver’s license is that people’s personalities change instantly when they’re behind the wheel. I think it’s fairer to suggest that their real personalities are showing up, and what we see revealed in people’s driving habits is often a symptom of their ability to cope with external stressors.
However, when one of these assholes in a van passes me on the road at twice the speed limit, I admit that I don’t give particular thought to their sociological motives. I’m usually happy with the fact that people who drive like this most often end up badly, whether it’s because of a traffic accident or at some other time in their lives.
In any event, the cumulative psychological effects resulting from the drastic upheaval in people’s lives, the unstable and polarized political state of the country, combined with a substantial increase in substance and alcohol use have had a predictable effect. :
“Some people may have a coping mechanism that turns to releasing some of their frustration on the road or substance use, or a combination of both,” Dr. Johnathon Ehsani told Inside Edition. from Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health. .
Bottom line, be extra careful there!