Smile and Wave

2010-03-27 11:20

ROAD

rage is terrible, and one of its biggest problems is that we all suffer from it

in one way or another.

Several

weeks ago a motoring colleague and I were in Cape Town – our home town. Although

he was driving, I was the one hurling insults at other drivers from the

passenger seat.

He

chuckled and said I had become such a “Jozi driver”, meaning I had lost all

patience on the road. Sadly he’s right. I used to be a passive driver and when

faced with stand-still traffic I used to put my music louder and sing my heart

out.

But

these days I find I’ve developed a severe case of Tourette’s Syndrome.

I

catch myself shrieking when other motorists act oblivious to traffic signs. Or

at those who seem suspended in time, forgetting to drive because they’re too

busy talking on their cellphones.

And

then there are the taxi drivers who swerve in front of you or just stop in the

middle of an intersection to pick up passengers. We slam on our brakes and vile

language spills from our lips.

And

while you may be chuckling as you read this, because you know you do the exact

same thing, it isn’t funny at all.

Road

rage isn’t just swearing or displaying rude gestures; it’s everything from

flashing lights, hooting, threatening behaviour and pulling over to confront

someone. It’s the kind of thing that causes gun owners to be trigger-happy.

According

to the 2009 Synovate survey, one in every two South Africans experiences road

rage. That’s alarming.

It

also found that only one in 10 drivers admits being fast and reckless, while

four in 10 drivers describe themselves as “slow and cautious”.

When

our anger consumes us we fail to think logically. We need to adopt the “smile

and wave” concept; perhaps then our road-rage statistics will

decrease.


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