You’re cruising along on your way home from class or work when this BMW starts riding up close behind you. Feeling robbed of your personal space, you move over to the other lane to let them pass. They rev up as they pass you and cut in right ahead of you, slowing down just for fun. Jerk! Your hooter hasn’t gotten this much action in a while as you bang on it in protest of this lawless numbskull. You might not know it or, you might just be in denial, but you’ve just shown signs of road rage. Here are three signs of road rage and how you can remedy them:
1. The green stage
These include breathing heavily, growling and calling the other driver crude names. Heck, you may even invent new crude words during this stage. You’ll agree these signs aren’t severe, but you may need check yourself should you display any of these and seek help right away.
Remedy: Breathe in… and out. It may sound futile, but after repeating this breathing session three times, tell yourself: “I’ll be the adult in this situation” or “I am the better driver,” or whatever other mantra you have.
2. The amber stage
You flip the bird more often than flipping your indicator. You are also prone to banging on the steering wheel, shouting at the other driver, engaging in excessive hooting, taking out your frustrations on your cellphone or GPS or embark on a speeding frenzy that grinds to a halt at the next red light.
Remedy: Do you own a stress ball? No? Maybe you should think of investing in one.
3. The red stage
This is when sh*t gets real. Like an animal with serious rabies, the road rage sufferer acts out in ways that are not only dangerous to themselves but everyone and anything around them. Once you’ve reached this stage, things get quite embarrassing, as you have now left your vehicle (still idling) in the middle of traffic to cause a raucous over something that could very well have been avoided.
Remedy: There are various anger and stress management centres in South Africa. And remember, there is nothing embarrassing about attending those classes. No one wants to go viral like this woman in Hawaii. Listen how, just before she gets out, her son pleads with her to stay in the car. Once you’ve reached this stage, public humiliation or even jail time is on the cards.