CHICAGO — A new study from CareerBuilder shows workers may have more than heavy traffic to contend with on their way to work.Fifty-eight percent of workers who drive to work said they experience road rage at times while traveling to and from the office, similar to findings in 2006 when the study was last conducted. Nearly one-in-ten workers (9 percent) who drive to work have gotten into a fight with another commuter. The study was conducted online by Harris Interactive from May 14-June 4, and included more than 3,800 workers nationwide. The vast majority of workers (83 percent) said they typically drive to work and, of those, 12 percent reported they took a job with a longer commute during or post-recession. While incidents of road rage are more prevalent among those with lengthy commutes, workers with short trips to their jobs aren’t immune. Thirty-seven percent of workers with commutes of less than five minutes said they experience road rage from time to time. The same goes for 54 percent of workers with commutes of less than ten minutes.
Women were more apt to feel road age — 61 percent compared to 56 percent of men. In terms of age groups, workers ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to experience road at 68 percent while workers 55 and older were the least likely to experience it at 47 percent.
Nearly one-in-four workers (24 percent) who drive to work reported they have been involved in an accident. While a variety of factors contribute to accidents, cell phone use can be a culprit. Three-in-ten workers (30 percent) admitted they have texted while driving to and from work.
Workers may have a more amicable commute over the summer months. While 10 percent of workers reported they tend to have more road rage in the summer, 17 percent tend to have less.“Road rage is most often associated with running late and far commutes,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Planning ahead and taking advantage of flexible work arrangements can help alleviate stress levels and set a more positive vibe for the workday.” Haefner recommends the following tips for a calmer commute: Give yourself extra time. Set out clothes and prepare lunches the night before. Set your alarm 15 minutes early to allow for any minor setbacks that can happen in a busy household.
See if you can start work at an off-peak time to avoid rush hour or explore whether telecommuting may be an option. Try easy listening. Whether it means soothing music, books on tape or your favorite morning news program, listen to something that can help you forget the hour-long delay you just encountered.
Taking a bus or train can free you to finish up work, read or just relax.
Beware: If you’re driving a rental car, you may not be covered.