The term ‘road rage’ is sure to strike fear into the hearts of even the strongest driver. Have you ever been the victim of it?
It’s easy to say what to do in the event of being on the receiving end of it, but until you have experienced it first hand, you have no idea how hard it is to extract yourself from the situation. In addition remaining calm and getting away from a situation when either you and your passengers are at risk.
I thought I’d tell you my experiences of it – and why I won’t remonstrate with another driver again.
IAM RoadSmart’s former offices were on the Chiswick High Road, and always on the M4 it would be a slow crawl along two lanes until I got to my junction.
And with most cars doing about 5-10 mph along that stretch, inevitably some drivers would take the opportunity to tap away at their smartphones or have a conversation – of course, their conversation was highly important and had to be done on the move …
I would often hoot at a driver if I saw them do this, and point at their phone. Reactions would be many and varied: a few would drop their phones and put both hands on the wheel, many would just ignore me.
But a few would swear and get angry. Very angry.
One chap in a famous prestige brand of car put his window down and shouted at me – then slowed his car and waited for me to pull alongside him.
I chose to hang back so I never drew level with him. He eventually got bored and raced off ahead.
One driver pretended to jink into my lane and back out again, forcing me to brake suddenly.
Based on all of this, I have now decided not to bother any more. I won’t risk myself for people who are clearly too stupid to learn the right thing.
So what should you do? Getting yourself out of harm’s way is the most important thing. Take a look at IAM RoadSMart's tips on how to avoid being a victim of road rage.
And of course don’t hesitate to call the police if you are able to quickly and safely enough.
I don’t pretend I am offering any answers here, just merely offering my thoughts. But it makes me both sad and angry that people won’t admit being in the wrong, and have led me to the conclusion that it’s more than my life’s worth to stand up and be counted now.
By Rodney Kumar, IAM RoadSmart senior communications executive