Pacifying The Rage On Australian Roads
Wherever you look "Road Rage" seems to be featuring in our news. Police, psychologists, industry groups and transport authorities are constantly expressing concern about the impact of enraged drivers venting their fury.
The Impact Of Road Rage?
Road Rage is increasingly becoming a concern on roads Australia wide. Every week it seems that the media is covering another horrifying example of drivers venting their frustrations on fellow road users. In some tragic cases people have lost their lives due to Road Rage.
It is the responsibility of all road users to treat others with respect and care. It is important to remember that when you are in control of a vehicle, you are responsible for your lives and others.
Causes Of Road Rage
There have been a number of studies carried out that have identified some external factors that can contribute to the likelihood of someone being involved in a Road Rage incident, including:
- Feeling rushed
- Environmental Issues such as heat
- Bad day at the office
- A bad situation on the home front
- Stress due to bills and other money related issues
- Lack of sleep
- Running late
Remember that you are sharing the roads with countless other drivers and as humans we all make mistakes.
Preventing Road Rage
National Manager of Repco Authorised Service, Mr Peter Webb, shares the concern of Authorities, and believes that Road Rage is seriously undermining road safety.
"The incidence of Road Rage in Australia is placing the welfare of our clients - in fact all road users- at serious risk, and that worries us," he said.
Repco Authorised Service maintains over 1 million client vehicles through its network of independently owned workshops, and according to Mr Webb, the group recognises their role in promoting safer motoring.
"As Australia's largest service network, we can play a significant part in reducing this dangerous behaviour on our roads", he said.
Repco Authorised Service centers have recently begun offering a complimentary box of "Road Rage Pills" at each service. The pills are in fact non- medicinal confectionary, designed to create awareness of the problem in what Mr Webb describes as a "Very Australian approach to a very serious matter".
The box carries directions for use: "If you encounter an act of road rage, take two pills and offer the offending party a friendly wave or smile".
Mr Webb points out that the intention is to sooth potentially heated situations and create a bit of fun. They are, however, not meant to diminish in any way the seriousness of the problem.
"Certainly, if our pills turn a potential confrontation into a friendly smile, then they will have served their purpose".
Tips For Staying Calm While Driving
1. Avoid conflict on the road
- Share the road
- Give yourself time and space to react to others
2. Keep calm, show restraint
- Understand that aggravating moves by other drivers are usually unintentional
- Don't show your frustration by making gestures- they could be the last straw for some one else
- If someone else's driving annoys you ...
- Don't try to compete, retaliate or "educate" them
- Be patient in traffic [follow the rule "let one in and go"
4. Say "thanks"/ say "sorry"
- Courtesy encourages co-operative, safe road use
- Apologising to the other driver when you make a mistake, reduces confrontation and defuses anger
5. What to do in the event of violent road rage
- Try not to react
- Avoid making eye contact [confrontational]
- Don't respond by accelerating, braking or swerving suddenly
- If you think you're being followed, try to drive to a busy public place or Police Station, before you stop
- If you're on a freeway, mingle with other vehicles- don't leave the freeway for unfamiliar roads
- Keep the and doors and boot locked
- Keep windows and sunroofs only partly open in urban areas
6. What to do in the event of physical threats
- Stay in your car with windows locked
- If you have a mobile phone, call for help
- Use the car horn and lights to attract attention
- Never carry a defensive weapon- it could simply provoke a potential assailant