Road injuries and fatalities are a growing concern in Malaysia. The Bukit Aman Traffic Unit announced that in 2014 there were 65,883 accidents on Malaysian roads involving car drivers and motorcyclists. This was 5.4% higher than the 62,519 cases recorded in 2013. Believe it or not, road rage is one of the top causes of car accidents!
You may be a very good driver; you respect the traffic laws, do not speed and are considerate of other drivers and pedestrians. Sadly not everyone you share the road with does the same. Some drivers engage in road rage, a risky behaviour with aggressive driving and an abusive attitude. Road rage, whether it’s felt when stuck in traffic or speeding on the motorway, can happen to anyone. Learning how to avoid road rage will help you drive calmly, lawfully and avoid accidents…and that’s exactly what this week’s EZTakaful Blog is going to help you to do!
Keeping your own road rage under control
Keep your driving environment calm: Making your car a happy, peaceful place will help to keep your road anger at bay. Listen to music that makes you happy or add aromatic air freshener to your vehicle to sooth your senses.
Extra time equals calmer driving: Do you allow just enough time to drive to an appointment? If yes then you’re probably also more prone to losing your temper and road rage. Add 10 to 15 minutes to your expected travel time so that you do not have to rush through the streets to your destination.
Plan ahead: If road works or rush hour traffic irritates you, consider using an online mapping system such as Waze to find a less stressful, tranquil route to your destination.
Think of the consequences of road rage: In the heat of the moment road rage may feel like a great way to vent your frustration, but don’t forget, there can be serious consequences from this short term release. Road rage can lead to a rise in your blood pressure, causing an accident injuring or killing road users, getting a criminal record or even going to jail! So when you start to feel road rage coming on, think of the possible consequences.
Dealing with Other People’s Road Rage
Be a compassionate and considerate driver: Consider allowing other drivers in a desperate hurry to overtake you if needed. Helping other drivers will put you and them in a more peaceful state of mind.
Avoid confrontation: If an angry driver yells at you, don’t make eye contact or yell back. Keep your eyes on the road and ignore them. It’s important not to let their actions provoke you.
It’s really not personal: You’ve come to a halt at a stop sign and the driver behind you loudly honks on the horn, impatient for you to get moving. They are doing this because they are experiencing their own road rage, not because they are angry at you.
Breathe deep and relax: Since your own safety is your main concern, try not to aggravate the other driver, which could make the situation even more dangerous. The more relaxed you are, the better decisions you will make. A relaxed body allows more oxygen to flow to the brain, making you more alert and better able to think clearly.
Get help: If you think you are in serious danger, use your mobile phone to call the police or drive to a heavily populated public area. Do not drive home and do not get out of the car until it is safe.
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