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Either road rage seems to be a serious issue that’s on a rise lately, or we’re just hearing more of the incidents that happen everyday thanks to the prevalence of easy to use recording devices and social media. Who can forget the Kiki incident earlier this year?

Another incident went viral on social media yesterday. A lady honked at a Honda CR-V who was claimed to be weaving between lanes. The CR-V driver stopped his car, and knocked on her window, spat on her wind screen, and damaged her wiper and wing mirror. The set of photos on Facebook shows the wiper arm bent at a 90 degree angle.

This situation is actually quite different from the Kiki case because there was no actual accident that took place. Apparently all happened over a honk. Of course, we only have one side of the story here and we don’t know what the victim actually did to provoke such a response from the CR-V driver, but given that there’s no visible damage to the CR-V I don’t think it warrants physically damaging her car.

What should you do if you ever get into such a situation? I am going to go with the recommendation of prevention being the best solution. Don’t use your horn and high beam in an angry manner to reprimand other motorists. Just a normal honk will do, for situational awareness purposes.

If a person cuts in front of you dangerously, it might be tempted to just blare your horn continuously for half a minute, or flash your high beam at him continuously to vent your frustration, but in reality what does it accomplish?

Honestly, you have no idea what is the mental health and condition of the person in the car next to you. Sanity is not a criteria of getting a driving license, nor is it a pre-requisite to buy a car. If the person is driving like an ass, he’s likely an ass. Don’t provoke the person into making you a road bully target.

You might be really angry at what the other driver did, and it also puts you at risk of becoming a road bully yourself, so take some deep breaths to calm yourself. You cannot undo what happened. You need to realise that no matter what you do, you cannot control another driver’s behaviour.

Instead, drive defensively and always keep an eye out for these erratic drivers. I’ve found that I can predict what cars are going to pull dumb moves on the road by watching how they’re keeping to their lane or how they are following the car in front of them. Slow down to give yourself some distance, switch lanes to reduce the risk of joining the party in a multi-car pile-up, do whatever it takes, just stay out of the way of these people.

You might add only a minute or two to your travel time but the peace of mind will be totally worth it. You might even see your fuel consumption drop from the coasting when you slow down to keep your distance.

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Is your bruised ego worth the potential physical damage to you and your car?

Of course, things happen. If the situation somehow gets to the point where you are the target of a road bully, back off and try to put as many cars between you and the attacker as possible. Be prepared to change your journey. Getting to your destination is no longer the priority, shaking the bogey off your tail is. Switch lanes or even switch your route if necessary. Hopefully the person will just lose interest in you and continue to go about his journey.

If the road bully manages to get you to stop your car and walks over to get you to come out of your car – just stay put with your doors locked. It may help if you wind down the window a little (but not enough for the person to reach in) and offer a sincere apology. Put your ego aside for this. Apologise even if you think the other driver is wrong. Think of it as a self-defence tactic. Do not ever, ever get stuck in an argument.

If the person continues to harass you, wind the window back up and begin to call the police. Tell the bully you are doing so. Hopefully this will cause the person to back off. Be prepared to drive to the nearest police station – this is where GPS navigation software with an updated point of interest database will be useful. Take note of the bully’s number plate and make a police report to make sure everything is recorded.

Lastly, I recommend removing anything on your car that could personally identify you. In this world where we are increasingly getting paranoid about privacy on our social media profiles, we somehow turn our cars into billboards with stickers showing where we live, where we work and who we work for.

Remember – the key is just not to react to bad driving on the road. We are not traffic police. Think of your loved ones and always make the safest choices. It’s just not worth it.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else — you are the one who gets burned.”