With temperatures soaring and long traffic queues, it can be impossible for drivers to stay calm behind the wheel.
According to provincial SAPS, aggressive driving is a major concern and a real threat to the safety of all road users. Any unsafe driving behaviour, performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety, can constitute aggressive driving. In extreme cases, this may escalate to road rage, which is a violent criminal act involving the intention to cause physical harm.
Here are a few tips on how to deal with aggressive drivers, plus helpful hints to reduce your own stress while driving:
Protect yourself: If you are dealing with an aggressive driver, make sure your vehicle’s doors are locked. If you are stopped in the traffic, leave enough room to pull out from behind the car you are following. If an aggressive driver confronts you, call 10111 or drive to the nearest police station.
Do not take it personally: Be polite and courteous, even if the other driver is not. Avoid any conflict, if possible. If another driver challenges you, take a deep breath and move out of the way. Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for causing harm.
Reduce your own stress: Understand that you cannot control the traffic, only your reaction to it. In the end, you may find that personal frustration, anger and impatience are the real danger zones on the highway. Control your anger and avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver. Refrain from using the hooter aggressively and never make hand gestures. Drivers are encouraged to set the right example by being a courteous driver.