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A honk of the car horn and perhaps a small dose of colourful language is how most drivers react after witnessing an example of terrible driving on the road but some fall victim to the dreaded road rage.

While most people can brush an incident off and continue their journey, sometimes there are drivers who give into the aggression- becoming a road rage maniac.

Tail gating, erratic driving to inconvenience the other driver, inappropriate and rude gestures, yelling obscenities and following the other car are all symptoms of unacceptable road rage. These actions can add unnecessary danger to a simple journey.

Putting yourself and other drivers at risk by being petty or aggressive on the road is never okay and there are simple ways to avoid the dangerous symptoms of road rage. We have a responsibility to all other road users to behave in an appropriate manner to make our roads as safe as possible.

To avoid any nasty outbursts on the road:

  • Do not get into your vehicle in a heightened emotional state such as being angry or upset. Driving while feeling emotionally volatile can increase your risk of crashing.
  • To avoid the stresses of a time pressure, plan ahead and take traffic delays into consideration before starting your journey.
  • Focus on driving and arriving at your destination safely, you and your passengers are more important than “getting even”.
  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, while already illegal for several important reasons, drugs and alcohol and be emotion fuellers.

MUARC aggressive driving expert, Dr Amanda Stephens, encouraged drivers to think positively about their time behind the wheel and not let other drivers trigger angry emotions.

“How you feel is how you drive, so a negative mood will translate into poor driving practice,” Dr Stephens said.

“Most drivers see others as the problem, so it’s really important to focus on our own mental wellbeing during our travel time and commit ourselves to a positive driving experience.”

Don’t give into the road rage this holiday season and stay safe.