Road rage a growing concern

2018-10-02 06:01
Road rage is on the increase in the Upper Highway area.PHOTO: sourced

Road rage is on the increase in the Upper Highway area.PHOTO: sourced

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MANY drivers lose their cool when stuck in traffic and sometimes they just take it out on the wrong person — which leads to road rage.

According to the JvR Africa Group, road rage is on the rise internationally, mainly because of increased traffic congestion, insufficient infrastructure, drinking and driving, and inadequate policing.

CEO of JvR Africa Group Dr. Jopie de Beer said that in South Africa there are additional factors which make the roads more dangerous than elsewhere in the world.

“One of these factors relate to the ‘state of our nation’. A recent Bloomberg study shows SA to be the second most stressed country out of 74 nations, with Nigeria in the top stressed position. El Salvador, known for its brutal gang wars, is third,” said the Dr.

De Beer urged drivers to always remain calm and not take out their frustration on other drivers.

Hillcrest SAPS communications officer Captain Linzi Smith agreed with De Beer, saying: “A few seconds of irritation are not worth the often serious consequences of road rage.”

Smith further explained that the number of reported incidents of road rage has been on the increase around the province.

“Road rage has become a major threat to safe driving. This is usually [caused by] people who are already vulnerable to aggressive outbursts.”

She said that it’s easy to be more critical towards total strangers from behind the wheel, saying; “We find ourselves in a position of power and safety, and feel free to insult other drivers verbally, make moves that restrict or obstruct them, make aggressive gestures with hands, flash our lights, or blow our hooters.”

Smith further stated that all motorists have a responsibility, and numerous opportunities, to cool their emotional temperature on the roads.

“Every small act of road courtesy, like giving a smile or gracious ‘thank you’ wave, making positive eye contact before you join a line, contributes to peace,” she said. She ended off by reminding drivers that defensive driving is more than just a mental attitude.

Some tips to keep in mind when you’re behind the wheel

1. Always have a positive attitude when climbing behind the wheel.

2. Keep safe driving distance between you and other road users.

3. Never drive when you are in a bad mood.

4. Always watch your time. Never leave late as this can raise your anxiety whilst getting to your destination.

5. Never drive when you are tired.

6. Find something that puts you in a good mood, like listening to the radio, music etc.

7. If you already have temper issues try practicing breathing techniques.

8. Don’t give other drivers the opportunity to lose their temper with you.

9. Drive politely. Have manners. Smile at other drivers. You will be amazed at how contagious it is.

10. Remember, it’s just not worth it at the end of the day..

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