Don’t Be a Road Rager

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THE SIT­U­A­TION OF­TEN ARISES WHERE ROAD RAGE IN­CI­DENTS ARE DOC­U­MENTED AND CIR­CU­LATE ON SO­CIAL ME­DIA, OR EVEN MAKE THE NEWS. THE AC­TION OF THESE PEO­PLE, NO DOUBT, CAN CER­TAINLY AF­FECT THE LIVES OF EV­ERY­ONE IN­VOLVED – ES­PE­CIALLY THE “ROAD RAGER” – IN AN EX­TREMELY NEGA­TIVE MAN­NER.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of MasterDrive, Eu­gene Herbert, says road rage is a se­ri­ous con­cern in South Africa and many driv­ers have fallen vic­tim to a road user who has be­come en­raged. “When many peo­ple get be­hind the wheel, their per­son­al­i­ties change and the car now be­comes a weapon. They also be­come im­per­vi­ous to the con­se­quences and each time they es­cape these con­se­quences, they be­come bolder,” says Herbert.

How many of us can ad­mit to be­ing the one who loses their cool in traf­fic? MasterDrive has com­piled a num­ber of tips to help driv­ers not land in this po­si­tion to start with – a few sec­onds of ir­ri­ta­tion are not worth the of­ten-se­ri­ous con­se­quences: • A key com­po­nent of good driving is de­fen­sive driving where you an­tic­i­pate the ac­tions of oth­ers. When you drive de­fen­sively, you know some­one is go­ing to cut you off long be­fore they ac­tu­ally do. Ad­just your driving to al­low the other person in and save your­self the anger that comes with tak­ing eva­sive ac­tion at the last sec­ond.

• Do not get in your car when you are an­gry. Give your­self some time to cool off be­fore driving oth­er­wise even the small­est mistake from an­other driver will seem much big­ger than what it is. While some may use driving as a way to calm down, stud­ies sug­gest this is not the best idea.

• Give your­self enough time to get to your des­ti­na­tion. Run­ning late will raise anx­i­ety and frus­tra­tion lev­els mak­ing you vul­ner­a­ble to dras­tic re­ac­tions.

• Do not drive fa­tigued as it also raises

your ag­gres­sion lev­els.

• Find some­thing that puts you in a good mood dur­ing your drive. This can be lis­ten­ing to a certain genre of mu­sic or lis­ten­ing to comedic skits. But re­mem­ber, or­gan­ise this be­fore you start driving. • If you know that you lose your tem­per eas­ily, find meth­ods of re­gain­ing your com­po­sure, for ex­am­ple, breath­ing ex­er­cises.

• Do not drive in a man­ner that will en­rage other driv­ers ei­ther, for ex­am­ple tail­gat­ing and con­tin­u­ally swap­ping lanes.

• Fol­low MasterDrive’s slo­gan: drive nice, it’s con­ta­gious. Many South African driv­ers will do their best to stop an­other car from join­ing their lane and get an­gry if that person does join their lane. Driving like this sets you up for un­nec­es­sary anger and forces other driv­ers to take dras­tic mea­sures.

• Just let it go.

While the causes of road rage are more com­plex, it is pos­si­ble these mea­sures can com­bine to help you keep your cool and avoid do­ing things that you may re­gret later.

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