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Road rage: 5 golden rules to avoid it

2015-07-22 09:34

JUST KEEP CALM: Showing restraint can help to prevent a road-rage. Image: Shutterstock

  Video

Watch as a Canadian news report is interrupted by drivers engaged in a road-rage incident.

Wheels24 reported earlier in July that the term 'road rage' is now the vernacular for any display of anger while driving - so there's a shocking amount of angry drivers in South Africa.

Here are five top tips to avoid road rage.

GEM Motoring Assist has identified a few steps (taken from its ‘Courtesy on the Road’ leaflet) that will, we hope, reduce your risk of becoming the target road aggression:

1 Keep calm and show restraint. Every journey brings the risk of frustration and conflict. Make a pledge to be patient. Avoid using your horn or making gestures in anger.

2 Avoid competition and resist the desire to "get even". If the standard of somebody else’s driving disappoints you, don’t attempt to educate or rebuke them.

3 Don’t push into a traffic queue. If you wait, and signal clearly, you won’t wait long before another driver lets you in. But they don’t like being forced into giving way.

4 Say thank you, say sorry... Courtesy encourages co-operation on the road. If you make a mistake (and we all do!) or perhaps cut things a bit fine, then a gesture of apology avoids confrontation and helps defuse anger.

5 Move away from trouble. If you feel seriously threatened by another driver makes sure your car's doors are locked and drive (at legal speed) to the nearest police station or busy area (petrol stations are ideal). Use your mobile phone to alert the police. Pressing the horn repeatedly or continuously is likely to deter a potential attacker.

Read: Wheels24 readers share their road rage stories
Read: 11 tips to help you survive road rage

Road safety and breakdown cover specialist GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to protect themselves by being alert to early signs of road rage. The warning follows the tragic death of 79-year-old Don Lock after a suspected road-rage confrontation on the A24 in Sussex, England.

GEM chief executive David Williams commented: “Most of us will have some experience of being on the receiving end of someone else’s aggression. Violent and unprovoked attacks are rare but it pays to be observant and learn to recognise signs of trouble at the early stage.

“We encourage drivers to leave plenty of time for a journey, which means they can feel calm and in control at the wheel. Stress can lead to risk-taking which in turn increases the likelihood of an aggressive incident.

“We also urge drivers to avoid becoming involved in situations they recognise as dangerous or risky. If you’re worried about another driver who may be a danger, pull over and call the police.”

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