In the light of the recent road rage tragedy in Sussex everyone should take a moment to consider their actions and emotions when driving. Most people have been on the wrong end of some terrible driving in the course of their daily commutes or annual holiday trips. It is also safe to say most people have felt angry with the other driver at the time too. Slightly less people, who are normally timid and polite, may well have to admit they have shouted at someone from inside their car during one of these instances. This is where the problem begins…
Safe as Houses
Many of you will feel safe in your car, and that feeling will lead you to be somewhat braver than you would be if you were faced with the offending driver outside a car. It is this perceived safety that causes people to behave in a way they would never do outside of their car and that is a dangerous problem. This problem only ever really shows itself when the person on the receiving end of your gesture or mouthed words takes offence. They may then feel the need to respond, their reaction may well be totally disproportionate in your eyes and many others but that doesn’t stop it happening. Their actions may lead to some reckless driving or in extreme cases physical damage and contact. But at the very least they won’t be thinking about the road in front of them and neither will you.
Would you say it to their face?
Don’t react in a way that you would not do if you were face to face with the person in question. It is safe to assume most people would be very unlikely to swear at someone if they were not in a car. The idea of people going round gesturing and shouting at each other for minor issues like bumping into someone in a queue is silly and it should be considered the same on the road.
Rather than reacting to poor driving with anger, try to take a breath and think. If you are safe and no harm was done then don’t react any further. Shouting may make you feel better for a second or two but it won’t change what happened. The odds are it was a total accident, everyone makes mistakes, and the person is not likely to do it again.
All in it together
Of course, some people do silly things on the road in your eyes. In fact, you may have done a few things other people found silly and you didn’t notice either. The point is, we all share the road and we all want everyone around us to be safe and get to where they are going. Don’t put yourself at risk and think before you react. If everyone took a few deep breaths we would see far less anger on the roads.