If you've scrolled through the blog section on MyCarForum, you'll know that road rage is commonplace in Singapore. A poorly handled road rage incident could escalate into an accident. So, it's best to learn how to respond or react to one.
What is road rage?
Road rage refers to destructive behaviour by furious drivers, motorcyclists and even cyclists. Destructive behaviour includes verbal insults, serious threat of physical violence, speeding, honking, tailgating, making angry gestures, shouting, blocking paths, ramming into another vehicle (the list of negativity goes on).
If you feel physically endangered - as a pedestrian, a fellow motorist, or a passer-by - you're a victim of road rage.
What causes road rage?
What makes people angry on the road? The triggers are limitless - heavy traffic, running late, drivers disregarding safety regulations and ignoring road laws (just to mention a few).
5 types of road ragers you might encounter
Note that these personalities are not mutually exclusive. Your 'road rager' may exhibit traits across multiple personalities, not just one.
1. The competitive Chiong-ster
They want to be faster than everyone else. They'll swerve in and out of traffic with a sense of superiority and have little respect for other drivers. They may be rude and want things their way, but they're not out to harm anyone… intentionally.
2. The silent aggressor
This road rager avoids face-to-face confrontation and plays off their aggressive driving through ignorance. They'll ignore you by speeding up to prevent you from changing lanes or tailgating you.
While the temptation to brake-check might be high, it's not worth it.
3. The impatiently hot-headed
This hot-headed road rager is a 'horny' individual. They’ll honk that horn whenever they can. Prepare to be on the receiving end of rude hand signals and sudden reckless behaviour - like merging at the last second to skip a long queue of cars for example.
4. The verbally vociferous
This bunch of people like to wind down their windows (and not for fresh air). They'll start hurling profanities and giving you a piece of their mind. Sometimes, they even go on about unrelated things like the government, CPF and money. Expect this to escalate into a face-to-face shout off if you choose to entertain.
Be warned; they will block your car from moving off until they finish ranting.
5. The violent terroriser
They are not afraid of terrorising you and causing physical harm to you or your vehicle. This road rager would stab you with a fork if given a chance. If they're not happy with you, they'll stop in the middle of the road to kick up a ruckus.
While uncommon, they exist and live among us. Dashboard cameras do not seem to deter them from such unpleasant behaviour. Telling them that you're recording them on camera will aggravate them even further.
If you meet a Violent terroriser, showing them a video of kittens might throw them off and snuff out the flames of anger.
How should you respond/react to road rage?
To avoid further conflict and car accidents, try these things:
- Lock your doors and stay inside
- Avoid pulling over if the other car is following you
- Drive to a busier street with more witnesses
- Head straight to a police station
- Refrain from reacting and engaging
- Do not honk, gesture back or drive aggressively
- Avoid eye contact and don't take it personally
Finally, always remember to retrieve the details of the road rager's vehicle in case you need to claim for damages, if there are any.
You can avoid offending other drivers by focusing on the task at hand - driving.
This article was first published in sgCarMart.