As a self-defence teacher I have noticed an increasing need to educate people on how to deal with conflicts on the road, being in the car or areas surrounding the car.
Over the years we have seen road rage increase dramatically. It was very evident whilst I was living in Sydney, and I have not noticed it to the same extent in Darwin probably due to the lesser amount of people on the roads however it still does occur. A lovely friend of mine was spat on in the face by a driver at a set of lights for driving too slowly and apparently slowing him down (meanwhile she had a screaming baby in the back seat, and a four year old who kept undoing their seatbelt – needless to say she was a little distracted!).
The potential of road rage to escalate into an ugly situation quickly is high, and there is the risk of something simple like starting off at the lights too slowly turning into violence. How can something seemingly so trivial trigger people into violence? Road rage is simply an outlet for societies built up stress. This frustration may come from work, relationships or finances. An incident on the road can often be, as they say, the straw that broke the camel’s back.
If you find you are either the victim or perpetrator of road rage, here are some simple tips to overcome road rage incidents:
How do you overcome road rage incidents?
- Be compassionate and manage your emotional state – you can’t control another person’s state of mind, however you have full responsibility of your emotions. For all you know, the person in the other car may be driving inappropriately because they have just experienced the loss of a loved one – who knows what their situation is!
- Avoid reacting – whether you are in the wrong or right avoid staring, gestures or honking. Ignore the other vehicle. You need to put your ego to the side and not react as this may escalate emotions – as emotion increases, logic decreases.
- Move on – If you are in or outside of your car leave the incident and move on to your next destination provided all is safe to do so.
- Stay in your car – if you are already in your car you are safer to stay in the car. If you need to wind your window down to talk only do so an inch or better still move on. If you are outside your car get in promptly.
Above all I highly recommend learning some basic self-defence skills and practice implementing them so that you can use them if the need arises. We run workshops dealing specifically with defense techniques if you are ever confronted by someone either outside or inside your car to ensure ou can protect yourself and loved ones in these situations. Please email us for upcoming dates of our Car Workshops.
Krav Maga is a modern day reality-based self-defense system. Adam is the founder of Krav Maga Northern Beaches. Contact us at [email protected] for more information.