Show Your Teens Road Rage is Not in their Genes

Many teens and young adults will get their wish and find a new car under the proverbial tree this holiday season. Putting their trepidation aside, parent will give in and pull the trigger on the car they have put off buying until they felt their child was old enough and mature enough to handle it. And they put off buying a car for their teen because they know how expensive insurance can be for young people. That’s why most parents will insist their child take some form of driving lessons, either from those offered by their high school, or from a well-known driving school in their town. Some folks are too nervous to handle the job of teaching their child to drive. They think back to how scared they were and can’t handle it emotionally. Others find it easy to coach them on driving safely, defensively, and courteously.
Road rage is a fact of life on our busy streets today, and the stress related to holiday traffic and shopping can put added pressure on a teen who is not familiar with the tricks older drivers use to aggressively fight their way into a parking space, cut them off at intersections, or pass them on the freeway. Teaching your teen to react calmly in the face of road rage is really important at this time of year and year-round. People will use every excuse in the book to justify their rude behavior, even chalking up their bad behavior to their ancestry. You’ll hear things like “hot Italian blood,” or “wild Irish temper,” used to explain a bad rage incident. Ancestry has nothing to do with road rage, and is more a cultural construct aimed at explaining away bad behavior than anything else. We all get angry when someone cuts us off or makes an aggressive move toward us on the road.
There is some science that suggests you can inherit the “angry gene” from your parents, but genes only account for some of your disposition. Another study showed angry men who flew into rages were more likely to have double the rate of heart disease than others. For fun, you can buy an Ancestry.com dna kit, using a Groupon coupon to save some money on it, and see what your results are. For most people, they will discover a combination of ancestry they never thought possible. And they will prove another thing. We’re all human.

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