Think twice about (d)anger on the road

The festive season offers many Gauteng residents an opportunity to head away for a well-deserved break.

During this time, aggressive driving is of major concern and a real threat to the safety of all road users.

Any unsafe driving behaviour, performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety, can constitute aggressive driving.

In extreme cases, that may escalate to road rage, which is a violent criminal act involving the intention to cause physical harm.

The SAPS has a few tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers, plus some helpful hints to reduce your own stress while driving.

They are:

 Protect yourself:

1. If you’re dealing with an aggressive driver, make sure your vehicle’s doors are locked.

2. If you’re stopped in the traffic, leave enough room to pull out from behind the car you’re following.

3. If an aggressive driver confronts you, call 10111 or drive to the nearest police station – don’t address the situation yourself.

Don’t take it personally:

1. Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver isn’t.

2. Avoid any conflict, if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way.

3. Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for causing harm.

 Reduce your own stress:

1. Understand that you can’t control the traffic, only your reaction to it.

2. In the end, you may find that personal frustration, anger and impatience are the real danger zones on the highway.

Be a courteous driver:

You can set a good example, which can help make our roads safer.

  •  Control your anger.
  •  Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.
  •  Don’t make obscene gestures.
  •  Do not tailgate.
  •  Use your horn sparingly – even a polite honk can be misinterpreted.
  •  Don’t block passing vehicles.

Be sure to reach your holiday destination safely, by adhering to the rules of the road.

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