Straight out of Wikipedia, Road rage is aggressive or angry behaviour exhibited by a driver of a road vehicle, which includes rude gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver in an effort to intimidate or release frustration.
Why do we get road rage?
It’s pretty simple, our roads are seemingly full of moronic drivers. Whether it’s a young P plater swerving through the lanes or a 90 something year old going 30km below the speed limit, either way it’s dangerous. Danger scares all of us and it’s that fear that drives our rage. We are protective first and foremost of ourselves on the roads, however when we see a threat to our safety or anybody else’s safety we immediately flick a switch. That switch is called “intermittent explosive disorder”, a behavioural disorder involving explosive outbursts of anger and violence. It’s basically impulsive aggression that isn’t premeditated, and is defined by a disproportionate reaction to any provocation, real or perceived.
It’s natural to have the occasional “internal” blow up, especially if your life has been put in danger by another driver. If it makes you feel any better they say 8 in 10 drivers experience road rage at some point in their driving career. Let off steam inside the car by all means however it is important to be carefully aware of your behaviour at all times on the road. I remember getting out of my car as a young frustrated driver. It was at the traffic lights where I advanced towards the idiotic driver of the car in front of me and gave him my two cents worth. Little did I know I was having a go at a political leader. Turns out this individual was well connected as I received a little visit from the police AT MY HOUSE later than evening who studiously explained the dangers of getting out of a motor vehicle whilst on the road. Yes I got the old slap across the wrist, a slap across the wrist that taught me a good lesson. It’s simply not worth it. Getting home safely no matter what should always be the priority. After all, horrible drivers can be oblivious to the fact they are absolutely useless on the road.
Where to from here
They say there’s ‘one born every minute’. And that’s the kind of mindset we need to have. Whilst we’d love to have some sort of control over other drivers, we don’t. In many states across Australia, road rage is considered a serious act. In some cases it can lead to a loss of license, or up to $100,000 in fines and even jail time of up to 5 years. Next time you’re caught up in the heat of the moment, simply record the details of the vehicle(s) and report them to the police. The more reports the police receive, the more evidence they have against the said offender. One day I’d like to think these offenders will be brought to justice! We live in a world full of quantifiable judgement and “reviews”. I wonder, is there an app out there that we can review cars (drivers) by their number plate? Perhaps an idea like that might lead to a worthwhile cause in making our roads safer. Be safe during the festive season, and don’t forget to take a deep breath and think before you fire up.. Remember, it’s not worth it!