Durban - Visuals of road rage are becoming common in South Africa, which can be triggered by traffic, personal and private issues and stress, leaving people under pressure.
Recently, an alleged shooting incident over a parking spot, left a motorist dead and a passenger critically injured in Pietermaritzburg.
Maanda Tshifularo, Head of Dialdirect said road rage often has very little to do with traffic. If you’re already at boiling point following an argument with your boss, for example, a driver who cuts in front of you could send you over the edge – turning into the kind of rage that leads to anything from a minor upset to loss of life.
Here are five ways to avoid road rage:
- Don’t take bad behaviour personally. When encountering another motorist's bad driving and/or seemingly arrogant attitude, remember that it probably has nothing to do with you.
- Defensive first. Obey the rules of the road, maintain your line and stick to your rights, but be prepared to step back if you see that the situation is about to escalate.
- Plan properly. Give yourself time to breathe. Add 10 minutes to your expected journey time and keep to it. This will help if there are any delays and it will also make you a calmer driver.
- Change the radio channel. Listen to relating music, rather than loud music.
- Tackle those issues off the road. Address stress or personal or professional issues as soon as they come about and get them solved.
“We owe it to ourselves and other road users to be better drivers, to proactively manage our time and the factors that lead to road rage better and to control our emotions and reactions to our own stress, as well as to other people’s outbursts,” Tshifularo said.
“A healthy self-evaluation, a defensive attitude, some good habitual changes and restraint when things go awry could make SA’s roads that much safer,” he continued.