With the onset of summer, it seems the high pitched engine revving whines of modified street racing cars are everywhere and they're impossible to not see, hear and feel. Late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, could be someone blasting past the 70 mph markers on I-182 in Pasco, or I've noticed the concrete barriers that separate northbound and southbound lanes on Highway 395 between 10th Ave and 27th Ave provide racing cover as law enforcement can't just flip a quick U-turn.

So what gives? You drive like the proverbial bat-out-of-hell, and you kind of like it. But is that nature or nurture?


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Researchers could have just used the generic handle 'road rage' regarding the subject matter of a new study, but a term that seems exceedingly, unnecessarily sexual, 'accelerousal', has been introduced instead.

According to psychologists at the University of Houston, if you get angry behind the wheel a lot, you may be experiencing 'accelerousal.'

Accelarousal is what the researchers identify as stress provoked by acceleration events, even small ones. Study leader and UH Professor Ioannis Pavlidis said, “It may be partly due to genetic predisposition, it was a very consistent behavior, which means, in all likelihood, this is an innate human characteristic.”

In psychology, "arousal" is anything that causes stress, so ease up there Tiger, it's not necessarily sexual. And the researchers think 'accelerousal' might be genetic.

Holy Helix, Batman, so your parents might be the reason you're acceleroused? Are the genes then horribly mutated in the Tri-Cities? That could be an explanation of why some of the racers around here are so daring, dangerous and dumb, DNA.

People who experience it (accelerousal) deal with about 50% more stress than drivers who don't. And even small things can trigger accelerousal, like having to hit the brakes for a red light.

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