Road Rage on the Increase

Road rage is on the increase. Photo: SAPS

Road rage is on the increase. Photo: SAPS

Have you been the victim of a maniac who tried to push you off the road? Did you notice that your tormentor’s face was distorted with hatred – an emotion that was wholly out of proportion with the situation? If your answer is ‘yes’ then you are one of many victims of road rage in South Africa.

According to the founder and CEO of The Anger & Stress Management Centre Shelton Kartun it seems as if road rage has increased. Kartun says, “I attribute it to heightened stress and frustration levels. People experience something on the road: a minibus taxi, a learner driver, a slow driver in the fast lane, and it tips them over the edge.”

This is what one wants to avoid. Photo: Arrive Alive

The tipping point. Photo: Arrive Alive

Inside the mind of a road rager
Kartun explains the mental meltdown as follow: “You allow yourself to get emotionally aroused with the adrenalin hi-jacking your emotions to go in “fight and flight” mode with no reasonable thought process and out of proportion reaction. The episode will only come to an end once all the emotions have been worked out.” This sounds pretty frightening and it is.

SAPS: Things you can do when confronted with a road rager
“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.
Control your anger.
Avoid making eye contact with an aggressive driver.
Do not make obscene gestures.
Do not tailgate.
Use your horn sparingly — even a polite honk can be misinterpreted.
Never underestimate the other driver’s capacity for causing harm.”

Arrive Alive advise:
“Do not go home if the aggressive driver is following you.
If you’re in traffic and can’t drive away, pick up your cellphone and show the person you are calling the Police
If the person doesn’t back off, honk your horn to attract the attention of other drivers.
Note the make of the other driver’s car and his or her license plate.”

Two types of road ragers
According to Kartun there are two types of road ragers. The one type is offended and wants to teach the other driver a lesson and the other is naturally aggressive. Kartun adds that a lot of people are also driving under the influence of drink and that triples their aggression.

The Anger & Stress Management Centre has a road rage programme. Contact Shelton Kartun on
021 556 9588
or email him at



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