Student commuters struggle with anger while driving

(Brandon Stewart) (Brandon Stewart)

Brandon Stewart


Every third car in the parking lots at Humber College potentially belongs to an aggressive driver.

A study conducted from 2002-2009 by Toronto-based Centre for  Addiction and Mental Health revealed that nearly a third of Ontario’s population admitted to minor acts of aggression behind the wheel.

The study, which polled 12, 000 drivers, also statd the odds of being in a car accident increase almost 80 per cent if you are an aggressive driver, and this aggression stems from anger in the car.

“Even minor aggression, such as swearing, yelling or making rude gestures, can increase the risk of a collision,” says Dr. Christine Wickens, lead author of the study.

Many Humber students have to use Ontario highways to get to Humber’s North campus and the commute can be brutal, making students angry and affecting their mental wellness.

“Sometimes when I’m really impatient I will drive fast and dangerously,” said thirdrd-year architectural technology student Danny Jeoung.

For some students, the commute can be upwards of 90 minutes. Factors such as uncomfortable weather and sluggish traffic can easily create a stressful, belligerent driving environment.

“I tend to get pretty aggressive,” said Juan Arendano, a fellow architectural technology student. “Especially when people don’t signal,” he added.

Some students, however, say their anger needn’t lead to aggressive driving. .

“I feel that venting [in the car] allows me to not drive aggressively,” said first st-year massage therapy student, Chelsea McDonald , who commutes back and forth from Oakville to Humber College North Campus every day.

For those who don’t have their own venting strategies, the study suggests taking deep breaths and listening to calm music as suggestions to curb anger.

If all else fails, Arendano advises to avoid driving in Toronto altogether.

“Toronto is like a jungle,” he said.