Malaysians were shocked after a road rage incident on the KL Seremban Highway over the Hari Raya Haji weekend left one driver dead.
While the facts and details of the case are still under investigation, we do know what roughly happened, based on videos of the incident and police statements.
The victim got into an argument with the suspect after a car crash, and the victim was said to have brandished a baseball bat and began hitting the bonnet of the suspect’s car.
The suspect in turn is said to have panicked and stepped on the accelerator, ramming the victim onto a divider.
The victim was rushed to a hospital where he died while receiving treatment.
Road rage is a serious problem, and we all need to be aware of the signs of rising anger, as well as how to stay calm on the roads.
Here’s how to recognise anger:
- Angry/vengeful thoughts
- Muscle tension
- Elevated heart rate
- If you catch yourself speaking out loud about another driver (even when you’re driving alone)
Almost every one of us has felt a little bit of that while driving, which is why it’s so important to catch yourself before anything worse happens.
RECOGNISE THE FEELING, AND TAKE YOUR TIME TO CALM DOWN
If you notice yourself getting angry, find a safe place to pull over and take a few minutes to collect your thoughts before getting back on the road.
DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES
Take a long, slow inhalation into your diaphragm for five seconds. (Make sure to breathe through your belly, and not your chest!) Hold it in for five seconds, and then exhale slowly. Repeat this a few times.
LISTEN TO CALM MUSIC
Calming music can help you relax, calm down and focus on driving safely. We recommend a Spa Music playlist, or if you’re feeling fancy, go classical with Faure or Chopin.
RESIST THE URGE TO RETALIATE
This might be difficult sometimes! Our initial reaction when someone cuts you off or is rude to you on the road is to honk, swear, shout, or give them the finger amongst other things. This will almost always aggravate the other driver, and make things worse.
USE THE FOUR SECOND RULE
Keep a distance and try not to tailgate a vehicle out of anger as it could lead to an accident. Use the four second rule, when a car ahead of you passes a sign or a lamp post, start counting and don't drive pass the same landmark.
GIVE OTHERS THE BENEFIT OF DOUBT
People can also be going through some tough situations. Before you assume someone is purposely driving aggressively to harass you, remember that humans make mistakes.
GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT
If someone is following you and you feel that they might want to be aggressive, try to get someplace safe with a lot of people, or better yet, drive straight to a police station.
Are there any other tips that might help you have a safe and pleasant journey? Let us know!
By: Dzamira Dzafri