Road Rage - A Menace
Literally, "Road Rage" is a term used to
refer to the violent incidents caused by stress while driving on
high traffic zones on roadways. It is usually associated with "Aggressive
Driving". But, in lay man's language, "Road Rage" can be defined
as an incident in which an angry or impatient motorist or passenger
intentionally injures or kills another motorist, passenger, or pedestrian,
or attempts or threatens to injure or kill another motorist, passenger,
or pedestrian. "Road Rage" often occurs with exchange
of swear words and furious shouts at the fellow commuter.
It has been found that most of the drivers have a
feeling of "Road Rage" because it is a cultural norm.
Angst and frustration while driving on Indian roads comes naturally
which translates into "Road Rage". People learn this behavior
from childhood when being driven by parents and adults. In day to
day life, more of the incidents can be experienced during peak traveling
hours, during fair weather, under moderately congested conditions
in urban areas. "Alcohol" has many a times been found
to be associated with many of the incidents.
There are many conditions associated with "Road Rage";
including: traffic congestion, driving habits, weather conditions,
noise levels, time constraints. Some time it can be an instructive
response of careless driving by another driver. With reference to
the historical records, in 1997, the U.S therapists have worked
to claim "Road Rage" a medical disorder. Although, a few
insist that defining "Road Rage" as a medical disorder
will allow criminals to plead and provide them an excuse to shrug
It is usually emphasized
that "Road Rage" and "Aggressive Driving" are not synonymous. "Road
Rage" is uncontrolled anger that results in violence or threatened
violence on the road; it is Criminal Behavior. These are serious
crimes that just happen to occur within the roadways environment.
"Aggressive Driving" does not rise to the level of criminal
behavior. "Aggressive Driving" includes tailgating, abrupt
lane changes, and speeding, alone or in combination. These potentially
dangerous behaviors are traffic offenses, but are not criminal behavior.
Infact, "Road Rage" can be distinguished from any other
traffic incident by its "Willful and Criminal" nature.
In general, "Road Raging"
involves menace provoking activities including:
- Speeding and Aggressive Acceleration.
- Cutting others off.
- Weaving in and out of traffic.
- Forming a "convoy" to block access to
a traffic lane.
- Honking the vehicle's horn or flashing lights
- Rude gestures.
- Verbal abuse.
- Deliberately hitting another person, vehicle or
object with one's own vehicle.
- Hitting a person or vehicle with a weapon other
than a vehicle.
- Threatening to use a deadly weapon.
- Revengeful feeling.
"Road Rage" is considered as a menace because
it can lead to physical injuries and in some cases it can lead to
Many countries all over the world including: U.S,
Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand are taking
steps to approach to some solution in this regard. But, approaches
to the problem vary, reflecting the different cultural norms of
"Road Rage" is a serious act and may be
seen as a violation of property rights. One of the best way to avoid
becoming a victim of "Road Rage" is to avoid responding,
avoid making eye-contact. It might happen that what seems to be
harassment in one spot may be a simple mistake only. Don't allow
driving to become a competition.
Before all, legislations should
be made more clear and stringent. Unambiguous laws and penalties
are needed and public needs to be educated about its legal consequences.
Driver education courses should be made more approachable and taught