No, we're not channeling our inner Kyle Busch or Dale Earnhardt. Blame road rage on what's called 'lizard brain.'

According to PEMCO Insurance and AAA, a new study shows the reason so many people engage of acts of aggression when behind the wheel is primal.

AAA released the study, which indicated at least 78% of respondents admitted to committing some sort of act of aggression when driving-above and beyond 'normal' behavior. That includes cutting off another driver, swerving to keep another driver behind us, or yelling, screaming or otherwise indicating rage towards that motorist.

Most of us are polite to others, and show manners. But according to the study when we get behind the wheel, it's competition for travel that sets us off. Most of us are constantly in some sort of hurry to get somewhere, even if it's not urgent. When someone cuts us off, or commits some other act of rudeness behind the wheel, our primitive 'lizard brain' kicks in. It boosts adrenaline, the flight or flight reflex, and we often do dangerous things that we normally wouldn't.

Often times, it happens without us even thinking about it. It's a desire to control or defend our territory, or the space where we are driving. That stems from the most primitive part of our brains.

The solution? Before leaving for our destination, think for a second about how we would react if somebody commits a rude or road rage act towards us. And, if it happens, don't respond. Just keep driving. Of course, if the other driver begins to behave in a threatening way, pull over and call 9-1-1.  But the study says most such situations can be defused by remaining calm. Surprisingly, most of the dangerous driving actions of others are done without them even realizing they've done it, so if you don't retaliate (even though we WANT to) the situation is defused.

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