This rage can manifest in different ways, from yelling and giving hand gestures to intentional tailgating and honking, it’s something we all dread but can’t seem to completely avoid. Inconsiderate drivers, congestion, year-round construction, daily stresses of life and traffic delays can make drivers lose themselves, causing situations that can quickly spiral out of control.
Combating Road Rage With Laughter
At Onlia, we are on a mission to make Canada’s roads and communities safer. Part of that mission includes challenging the status quo on how we look at road safety. So, we wanted to test if laughter can combat the effects of road rage through a real-world, interactive and data-driven experiment with influencers and comedians from Toronto.
Let’s face it, when you’re laughing, you can’t stay angry! It's proven that when you counter stress with humour, there is a 79 per cent decrease in stress hormones and an 87 per cent increase in endorphins. Using these insights, we developed a multi-layered experiment dubbed the “Calmedy Commute.” We brought together local comedians, drivers, facial recognition software and biometric tracking to test if comedy can positively impact a commuter’s emotional state during real-world driving situations.
We engaged four different GTA commuters in this driving experiment — all self-declared road ragers. Based in different areas around the greater Toronto area from Vaughan to Scarborough and the downtown core, our drivers’ patience was truly put to the test. Travelling through heavy construction, dealing with slow and inconsiderate drivers and constant congestion, our drivers experienced it all. For five days, our drivers participated in our Calmedy Commute experiment, the first day acting as a baseline with no “calmedy” during their commute and the next four with comedy segments playing in their vehicles.