L video is circulating of a man smashing into a News Café building because he was denied entry. From this information, it can be assumed that anger caused him to lose control and use a vehicle dangerously.
While any advice to avoid driving when angry would be useless to that driver, it does provide a very real example of how anger can turn your vehicle into a weapon.
Anger removes some of the most important skills required to be a safe driver. When we are angry, we become extremely distracted and can no longer concentrate on the task at hand.
You also lose your ability to react calmly to situations encountered. Should a driver cut you off in traffic, you are unlikely to ignore it but more likely to react aggressively. Your ability to respond to emergency traffic situations will also be affected.
When someone swerves into your lane, your reaction may be delayed or even completely removed depending on the level of anger you feel.
The difficulty is that in the current climate individuals are operating in, instances where drivers get behind the wheel angry may be higher.
Demands in the workplace increase the stress levels at work, additional financial difficulty as a result of lockdown, challenges for parents catching up time lost due to the pandemic and the resultant depression and anxiety that arose with the changes created by COVID-19 will inevitably affect the anger levels of many.
The key is to be aware of your vulnerability to becoming angry while driving and identify a way in which to regain your composure.
Be aware of what losing control behind the wheel can do to your driving ability and avoid exposing yourself and others to this risk. Alternatively, if you are angry before you get into the car, rather delay your departure.
Take some time to cool down and find ways that work for you when it comes to controlling your anger.
While the driver in the video was too far gone for any of these tips to have helped him, use the example he gives us to ensure you never drive while angry again.
Almost every driver can admit to getting behind the wheel while angry. Now that we have seen how quickly and badly out of control it can get, the key is to ensure you never do it again.
Eugene Herbert is the CEO of MasterDrive, based in South Africa
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