Tail-gating, road hogging, weaving, changing lanes without signalling … … the list goes on for these inconsiderate actions that could provoke another motorist to feel a surge of violent anger! Road rage has a way of transforming an otherwise normal, nice person into a ‘monster’ on the road. And no, that’s not ok. Anger has a way of clouding our mind and making us act recklessly, which could compromise road safety. Before tempers flare, read this to learn how you can avoid and deal with road rage.
Plan ahead to reduce stress
We cannot control the traffic but we can manage our time. This may sound like a no-brainer but with extra time to get to where you’re headed, you are less likely to be impatient or take unnecessary risks. Yes, time is precious but so is your state of mind and safety.
Understand thinking traps
“He was in the wrong! I had the right of way!” Maybe, you are right. Maybe not. Ever heard of cognitive distortions? Sometimes our mind play tricks on us to convince us of something but in reality, it’s completely untrue. Often, these inaccurate thoughts are used to reinforce negative thinking patterns that could spin off into negativity and pessimism. Sounds scary?
Some common thinking traps:
- Filtering happens when we only focus on the negative aspects of the situations while ignoring all the positive. Example: All female drivers are lousy drivers because Mrs. Tan was taking forever to park her car. In reality, statistics show that women are less prone to getting into accidents than men are.
- Labelling is an extreme form of generalisation, kind of like discrimination. Come on, not all luxury car owners are self-entitled, arrogant or think they are the king or queen of the road.
- Always being right … sounds familiar? Ha! We know we are right, right? Now, here’s food for thought: if an oncoming car is in the wrong lane and about to hit you, do you continue to stay in your lane because you are right and they are wrong?
#TiqOurWord Don’t let your mind trick you at the crucial moments. Remember, safety is priority.
Learn how to breathe right
Sometimes, we are just not very good at the simplest things. Breathing comes to us naturally but are you breathing properly? Breathe through your nose (ensure that your mouth is closed) and slowly extend your exhale. Inhale for 2–3 seconds, exhale for 3–4 seconds, pause for 2–3 seconds and then repeat. Do not take your breathing for granted. Somebody abruptly cut into your lane? Breathe!
When we are angry, we tend to breathe harder and quicker and by paying regular attention to your breath, you can have a good reading on your mental and emotional state, so that you can better manage stress and anxiety.
#TiqOurWord A moving vehicle scrapped the side of your beloved car and dislodged the side view? Breathe! Instead of confronting the driver angrily, be thankful for having for having adequate car insurance. Even better if you’ve got your car insurance at Tiq by Etiqa, which provides fast claims approval within 30 minutes!
Let off steam
There are good days and bad days. If tensions have been building, find a healthy way to let off steam and avoid aggravating situations. A good work-out can do wonders or you can head to Singapore’s first rage room, The Fragment, to release your anger. Alternatively, find an alternative mode of transportation and be chauffeured instead.
Stay focused on your priority
Image credit: Unsplash
Yes, your car is a beloved asset, but it is also a transportation tool to get you to where you want to go. Ideally, we would all like to reach our intended destination safely, cost-effectively and conveniently. If there are loved ones on-board the vehicle, their safety and well-being is key. Before you think about getting even with the other (inconsiderate) driver, remember your priority. Road rage can spiral into ugly encounters and accidents that cause physical harm to body and wallet.
Wait a sec! What if you encounter a road bully?
When encountering someone else who’s blinded by road rage, try to stay calm and maintain safe driving habits. Oh, and always lock your doors just in case.
Here are some notes to keep in mind:
- Let them go. Don’t respond in an aggressive or reckless manner
- Maintain a safe driving distance from other vehicles
- If the provocateur is in pursuit, drive to a nearby police station or pull into a busy parking lot and call the police
- Don’t engage in a face-to-face confrontation, or reciprocate with rude gestures
- Note the vehicle number and file a police report or traffic violation report
Is road rage a crime?
There is no specific law in relation to road rage in Singapore. However, there are laws that focus on confrontational actions of parties following an act of “rage”.
For example, an NTU professor got jailed, fined and a driving ban after he hit his victim’s car bonnet in a road rage case. In another case, a veteran eye doctor was charged for continuously honking and throwing a glass bottle at his victim’s car. An angry student attacked a taxi driver because of a near-dooring case, and got jailed for one month.
Be a gracious driver
Driving should be an enjoyable process, otherwise why not just take public transportation? Hence, if you drive, don’t rage. With proper planning, self-awareness and a bigger heart, you can contain the road rage and enjoy a good, safe ride. Oh, and don’t forget to have a car insurance in place!
Tiq by Etiqa Insurance offers Private Car Insurance that provides fast claims approval of up to S$5,000 within 30 minutes, and island-wide authorised workshops with 9-month repair warranty. Also, enjoy additional 5% discount if you have been demerit-free for the past 3 years! Terms apply. Learn more
Information is accurate as at 15 October 2019. This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd. (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
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