Incidents of road rage are increasing in South Africa, according to news reports. This claim is also backed up by the Automobile Association (AA) after a recent road rage incident. A spokesperson said aggressive driving was becoming a significant part of road culture in South Africa. The AA recorded at least nine cases of road rage in the preceding year, all with fatal results.
What is road rage?
Driving can sometimes be a highly charged activity with drivers having to deal with aggressive behaviour from other road users. This can take the form of angry outbursts, dangerous driving and behaviour, and maybe even the use of weapons. This is a concern for communities and authorities alike as motorists and onlookers can be injured or even killed in road rage incidents.
What can you do?
You can avoid experiencing road rage, states the Arrive Alive website, by remembering these tips. Start by making an effort to put work and home worries aside when driving, planning your route so that it is as stress-free as possible, and adopting a positive mental attitude. Drivers should also play relaxing music, maintain a calm and courteous demeanour, and avoid giving into their road rage by counting from 1-10 in the event of an incident.
If you are confronted by road rage, drivers should, whenever possible, move to the left of the road and let the other driver pass and try to stay calm. Don’t engage with aggressive drivers and avoid eye contact. Provocative words, gestures, or responding with confrontational actions might provoke them further.
If the other driver leaves their vehicle to confront you, make sure that you stay in your car and, if possible, go somewhere where you can get help. It is advisable not to go home where the aggressive driver might follow you. If you can’t drive away, use your cellphone to show that you are calling the police or filming. Take note of the aggressive driver’s make of car and licence plate number.
Driving on our roads can, unfortunately, bring out aggression in drivers. Remember that we can’t know what is going on inside the minds of other drivers, so it’s better to be cautious when engaging with the people we encounter.
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