Jul 26, 2011

Handling Road Menace

If you drive a vehicle in a city chances are there have been several times where you've sworn at the person for dangerously swerving or braking without warning. Fights and arguments are common the roads of the city. But with an appaling increase in the amount of road rage cases, experts are already waving the red flag.

Common manifestations of road rage:
  1. Ceaseless honking, constantly changing lanes and breaking lights.
  2. Disregarding traffic rules or the safety of fellow drivers by speeding and overtaking ruthlessly.
  3. Flashing headlights continuously, shouting verbal insults or looking for opportunities to get into physical fights
Road rage is something that we experience even if we may ourselves not indulge in it and is commonly seen at bus stops, signals and traffic snarls. "Road rage isn't just limited to accidents, assaults, altercations, but even curse words, obscene gestures or threats to other drivers. Cutting lanes, not giving way to another driver are all considered as road rage. It is best described as an extreme expression of anger, which is disproportionate to the situation at hand," says Counselling Psychologist Devaunshi Sampat Mehta.

Environmental conditions like traffic jams, dangerous driving habits, unbearable weather, noise levels and time constraints are some of the main factors related to road rage.
According to clinical psychologist Seema Hingorrany, "A Mumbaikar's regular commute is riddled with severe anxiety, stress, antagonism and discontent.

How to avoid road rage:
  1. Stay calm:  If someone cuts you, honks incessantly or brakes suddenly, it is okay to feel irritated. But don't let it anger you into doing something you will regret.
  2. In a city if you're going for an important event, why not keep trouble at bay by leaving a little early? Realise that there could be delays in travel.
  3. Experts say that the music you listen to can have a big impact on your thoughts. As far as possible, hear something that is pleasant while you drive.
  4. To  avoid being dragged into a fight as much as possible, no matter how much you are provoked. Handle the situation as peacefully as you can.
  5. Avoid arguments on your cell phone while driving. 
  6.  Lifestyle changes like finding healthy ways to vent your rage, doing some form of relaxation, getting adequate rest, being more tolerant in general can reduce the likelihood of road rage.

Courtsey: Article TOI 26/7/2011....

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