It’s Valentine morning; you wake up with your lovely wife right by your side. You’re about to take off to work, and also headed with your kids to their learning institutions.
On your way to work something ticks you off or rather distracts for an instant, perhaps a guy who might happen to be in the same head-space as you, who makes a silly mistake by cutting you off in traffic but out of frustration he puts the blame on you.
You both become confrontational, aggressively throwing blasphemous hand signs and exchanging distasteful words… suddenly your rival driver pulls up in front of your car, and in an adrenaline fueled stupor he pulls out a pistol to your windscreen…
Well, a similar situation happened on Friday morning when a motorcyclist, identified as the 39-year-old Doug Pearce, was killed during a road rage incident on Malibongwe Drive in Johannesburg while a motorist was wounded. The suspect is due to appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday 17th.
Mayday-Mayday: It’s a jungle out here
Road behaviour specialists say road rage incidents are on an increase. But what could be the trigger of such outrageous behaviour?
It is referred to as “incidents of angry and aggressive driving”. As we live in a concrete jungle and every animal here is trying to be the king of the jungle, unfortunately the animals of this jungle are far from being tamed.
Road behaviour profiler Jaques Van Zyl stated in the eNCA news that there’s a lot of anticipation for a slip up in a sense that when people get into their cars they already in their minds they’re looking forward to a disgusting congesting in traffic.
This is indeed a serious issue that is soon, if not already, to go out of hand. Even on Twitter more than a dozen people admit to having road rage nevertheless aren’t able to control it, however to some it sounds more like bragging, which is scarier. A sports reporter on a certain radio show confessed that according to him road rage is a good thing as it allows people to express what is suppressed inside as long as it doesn’t get to a point where violence occurs. Albert McLean, CEO of Synovate said “We may be witnessing that aggression and road rage are becoming more acceptable social behaviour in S.A. It is the very acceptance of this behaviour that will surely see an increase in aggression on our roads.” And I fully agree with McLean.
Rage means to be in an extreme energized state of anger which has accumulated and/or has been suppressed for some time…
Typical uncontrolled rage like behaviour would be e.g.:
Prolonged and excessive screaming and swearing
Intense verbal attack and abuse
Most psychiatrists classify road rage as IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) and approximately 5 to 7% of the population suffers from this disorder.
In 2005 S.A ranked the worst in research conducted by Synovate, it involved more than 4000 people who showed significant levels of aggression on the road. Should this be an acceptable social behaviour?
“Genuine road rage personalities also experience rage in other situations in their lives.” says Van Zyl. There are constant price increase, traffic jams, road accidents, family matters, almost every day strikes are on the rise amidst other social difficulties we’re facing in S.A.
“One does not know the emotional state of the other person in the other car” declares Van Zyl, so be alert and to exercise self control and not partake in any aggressiveness driving incidents.
When all is said and done, these self-destructive tendencies can be avoided with a mere change of perception, an adoption of positive attitude, so your journey is your responsibility. By being calm and courteous especially when provoked can and will save a day, I mean how will retaliation not worsen the situation? We are all humans at the end of the day, you cannot change another person’s attitude but you can change your own.
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