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ESCAPE ROAD RAGE

By T.K. MALHOTRA

ROAD rage has no definition It is rather a criminal act which does not have its origin in traffic. Its an impulsive behaviour of some human being who may indulge in aggression not necessarily on road but anywhere else also. The intensity of their impulsive attitude may vary from situation to situation depending upon environment and other surrounding factors. Some scientists suggest that road rage is more than just bad behaviour. Some define the road rage as intermittent explosive disorder which involves out of proportion multiple outbursts. It may involve throwing or breaking objects and even physical assault.

Delhi witnessed a number of road rage incidents during the last two months. Truly speaking road rage is a world-worrying problem making headlines across the globe. In fact it is not a new problem.Road rage was first noticed and put into print 40 years ago in England. By using their common sense some people attribute traffic congestion as the primary cause leading to acts of road rage. Some think that speeding, tailgating, flashing head lights, yelling at other drivers, jumping traffic lights, overtaking from wrong side are the crucial factors that give rise to such ugly incidents. A study undertaken by American Automobile Association (AAA) some years ago revealed that 37 percent of road rage drivers used fire arms against another driver, 28 percent used other weapons, and 35 percent used their car as a weapon against another driver with numbers continue to grow. Another study conducted by a global market intelligence company Synovate over a period of 12 months says that the behavior of motorists that troubled people most included .sounding of horns 29%. . .flashing of head lights 27%. . .aggressive behavior. 25% and .rude gesture. 23%.

Some sections of society maintain the view that not the traffic congestion but longer commutes to and fro from the place of work, an overall increase in the daily stress level and intricacies of living in today.s world are also the factors leading to high volumes of altercation. They think that people who easily scum to the stress and pressures of every day life take out their aggressions on the road. But as I perceive there is no formal profile of a typical road rage driver. Gender, age, race and economics do not factor into the road rage equation.


Arguments over a parking space, not letting another driver pass, hitting the car from behind, showing the finger, deep eye level contact, playing car stereo too loud, honking horn, driving too slow, not giving dipper and tailgating can presumably the vital annoying reasons to trigger violence. But should at all such reasons invariably involve aggression and physical assaults? I am of the firm opinion that such reasons no way justify indulgence in violence. Of course, signs of anger may appear but situation can be subdued and resolved by mutual respect between the two motorists involved in trading rude gestures. There are studies to confirm that hundreds of drivers-motorists who snapped and committed violence are successful persons with no known history of crime or abuse. It again strengthens the belief that acts of violence involve people who easily scum to stress and pressures of every day life and easily become impulsive to react sharply in a mere situation of negligible nature. Mostly men in age group of 18 and 30 are involved in acts of this kind.

Escape:
Do not allow your emotions to rule your driving behavior

Do not choose freedom, excitement and pleasure over patience control and responsibility.

Do no use rude gestures, body movements intentional or otherwise to avoid provoking angry response from another driver.

If you realize your mistake, try to apologize with a friendly look and gesture.

There is another effective method in conveying an apology. A sign. it is indeed effective in warding off anger. Have a .Sorry. sign with thick .arial rounded
bold. lettering in black with white background. If you have accidentally done something wrong, raise the sign to convey your apology to another motorist. Over 85 percent of so-called road rages are likely to drop the matter if the other careless driver simply apologizes. The sign pasted on a card board can be easily kept under the Sun Visor, fastened with a clip.