We’ve all had times, I’m sure, when someone’s almost run into us and missed us by inches, carved us up or speeded past when they shouldn’t, and we’ve thought of a riposte or a choice word or two might inadvertently have popped out of our mouths. Admit it – it’s happened to you too, hasn’t it?!
And how often are we women patronised when behind the wheel, only for male passengers to tut annoyingly as we take a moment or two extra to park properly or do a six-, I mean a three-point turn? The fact that women are less likely to cause a road traffic accident strangely escapes men at this point.
It is frighteningly easy for the sort of incident I mentioned earlier to boil over into something more serious if we try to take things into our own hands, for example by getting out of the car and shouting, or by following the culprit. And this can be potentially dangerous not only for them and other road users, but for us too.
On the other hand, there are times when somebody has thought I’ve been to blame (as if!) and shaken a rather ominous-looking fist at me. If the person had approached me, how would I have reacted? Would I have been frightened or would I have been able to cope with whatever mood they were in?
I’m going to a special women’s evening this month where we’re going to be taught how to beat road rage – and if that fails, what weapons we can find in our cars to defend ourselves if the worst happens. This is part of a range of courses across Sussex to help female drivers deal with motoring aggression.
We’ll be given advice on staying calm behind the wheel and making sure everything is ticking along nicely under the bonnet.
I’m looking forward to hearing what the experts say about women and road rage. I shall try to remain calm if anyone says “Don’t get out of the car and hit them with your handbag”… grrr…
PS: Interesting statistic – A recent survey by the RAC* found that 87% of drivers said they had been a victim of road rage and 71% admitted they had indulged in road rage themselves.
(*Source: The Argus 20.2.12)