Targeting road rage

Why do I feel like a target? When I’m out on the road, I’m the potential target of hijackers. When I’m parked and away from the car, I’m the potential target of car thieves.

When I put my foot down, I’m the potential victim of one of the ever-more ubiquitous speed cameras – and the business of uninsured, unlicensed and unroadworthy road users hasn’t even been mentioned yet.
So, effectively I have to be responsible because no-one else is doing their bit – and if I happen to fall victim to any of the above, I have to bear the brunt of fixing the mess.
No wonder road rage is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. I do, however, have a theory on this subject. I figure that first person that cuts you off, the road user that jumps the light, nearly ramming you, the driver who isn’t paying attention and wanders into your lane, the person who steals “your” parking spot and the patently under-qualified cop isn’t going to bear the brunt of your rage.
It is going to be the 10th person who wrongs you, potentially for the smallest of all the injustices of the day, who will feel your wrath. In the modern world we are all encouraged to “calm down”, “breathe”, “relax”, “take anger management courses” and the like. Rather than fix what is really wrong, we’re supposed to get to the point where we consider it doesn’t matter.
Well, in my world that is never going to happen. When you put a ton of metal in motion and then aim it at me, either on purpose or because you’re having a shallow moment, I am going to get seriously hacked off. A ton of metal moving at any speed is going to seriously ruin my day if I make contact with it – especially if it is because of some stupid idiot.
So, if you do something idiotic, expect me to treat you like the imbecile you so patently and obviously are – if anyone should be taking a course it should be you. A course in being responsible and staying safe behind the wheel.
And safe does not mean driving slowly – forget that bit. It is a lie – 40 km/h in a 60 km/h zone is not safe. It is dangerous and you are causing the danger. The same applies for the right-hand lane – stay out of it unless you’re going around the car ahead. And when you do overtake, do it quickly and the get back in the left-hand lane.
Drive by obeying the rules of the road and by using your head. The damn thing is there on your shoulders for a reason. It keeps your brain in close proximity to your eyes so the messages are transmitted quickly.
The next time an apparently random maniac yells at you, flies the bird or tries to run you off the road, wonder about whether they had reason to be apopletic with rage in the first place. Am I saying that every time someone gets hacked off with you that it is your fault? No, there are enough idiots in the world to ensure that you might be completely innocent.
What I am saying is that you must make sure that if someone gets all huffy in traffic that it is because they are an idiot – not you!

Author: Morné Condon

Automotive journalist in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, following new models, old cars, car clubs and motorsport. My interests are not restricted to the automotive environment, although this is where I am mostly to be found.

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