By Steve Pickett

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The roadways are lined with drivers who have short fuses. But most of you probably already knew that.

In the DFW area, drivers often spend more time sitting stuck in traffic than they do sitting at the dinner table each night. That time on the road, apparently, brings a decreasing amount of courteous consideration for others who are along for the ride.

Dallas resident Ryan Malphurs calls it The Sardine Effect. “I think it’s the mental pressures and stresses of driving,” he said. “People spending so much time on the road, the stress builds and they get angry with one another.”

Anger, frustration, impatience and inattentive driving kick the concerns about road rage into overdrive. A national survey questioned drivers about their own acts of tailgating, cutting off other drivers, talking on the phone and texting. The DFW area ranked second in the nation, behind only New York City.

Last year in Dallas, two road rage incidents involved drivers pulling out guns. In one case, a man even fired his gun at a woman.

Local roadway customer service providers said, when they are called out to a stranded motorist, that they often find themselves repairing more than flat tires.

“It’s a stressful situation for them, when they’re involved in it,” explained Bob Digman of the North Texas Transportation Authority. “We come along and calm them down. People call and say we calmed them down, and that’s a big key to calm them down, so they can go about business and not be frustrated.”

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