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How to avoid road rageBack


27857273 - angry driver shouting in his carWhen a driver was filmed screaming obscenities at BBC presenter Jeremy Vine on his bike, it showed how stress on the road can escalate.

Shanique Syrena Pearson, 22, beeped her horn and revved her engine behind Mr Vine and then got out of the car shouting abuse at him. At one point she shouted the words: “I’m going to knock you out.”

She denied the offence throughout the course of her trial at West London Magistrates’ Court but was found guilty last week of using threatening words and driving without consideration. She could face prison when sentenced.

Road rage vineCrown Prosecution Service lawyer Kunal Dave said: “Pearson’s behaviour was unprovoked and completely unacceptable.”

He added: “This case demonstrates that road users who use threatening and abusive behaviour could well find themselves facing a criminal prosecution.”

The high profile case came after former actor Harvey Spencer Stephens was handed a two-year suspended sentence last month after admitting hitting two cyclists.

Neil Worth, road safety officer at breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, said: “Some drivers believe it’s acceptable to behave on the road in a way they would never dream of behaving in other areas of their lives. This is most likely because being in the car has the effect of dehumanising a situation of conflict.

“We tend to ignore the risk of possible consequences, either to ourselves or to other road users, so we allow our frustration and anger to be directed at those who get in our way or whose driving actions displease us.”

road rage happyHere are GEM’s five top tips for keeping your cool on the road:

1 Keep calm and show restraint. Every journey brings the risk of frustration and conflict. Make a pledge to be patient. Avoid using your horn or making gestures in anger.

2 Avoid competition and resist the desire to ‘get even’. If the standard of someone else’s driving disappoints you, don’t attempt to educate  or rebuke them.

3 Don’t push into traffic queues. If you wait and clearly signal, you won’t wait long before another drive lets you in. But they don’t like being forced into giving way.

4 Say thank you, say sorry. Courtesy encourages co-operation on the road. If you make a mistake or perhaps cut things a bit fine, then a gesture of apology avoids confrontation and helps defuse anger.

5 Move away from trouble. If you feel seriously threatened by another driver, then ensure your car door is locked and drive (at legal speed) to the nearest police station or busy area (petrol station forecourts are ideal). Use your mobile phone to alert the police. Pressing the horn repeatedly or continuously is likely to deter a potential attacker.

Mr Worth added: “It’s all about showing consideration, patience and tolerance. We all make mistakes from time to time.

“Remember also that some drivers will be out there looking for argument and conflict. They may take pleasure as a situation escalates – but no one has control over how it will finish, and that’s what makes any involvement potentially so dangerous.”

Posted by Beth Rose on 07/02/2017