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    Avoiding Road Rage

    I was quite shocked to read a report in Today’s Travel Mail, revealing the number of incidents of air rage amongst plane passengers has more than trebled in the last five years. Most were linked with alcohol consumption. With so much terrorism anxiety surrounding airlines, and a high level of increased airport security (including some frustratingly confusing rules for hand luggage contents) it seems that controlling intoxication before and during flights has been overlooked, or at least not considered to be as great a threat as it actually is.

    Most major air rage instances are widely reported in the press, and although they can be very frightening for travellers, and very costly when diversions take place, thankfully they haven’t resulted in any major tragedies – yet.

    Unfortunately the same definitely cannot be said for road rage, and as our roads become more congested and pressure increases, this is a problem that will only get worse, unless we take steps to prevent it. Just a few weeks ago in July, 21 year-old Adnan Patel was killed following an altercation with several men in a white van, and in June a bus driver was jailed for causing death by dangerous driving, when his frustration at being stuck in traffic led him to plough into a family on the pavement.

    There’s something about being behind the wheel that can bring out the aggressive side of anyone. We wouldn’t swear or use offensive hand gestures if we bumped into another pedestrian while walking, but the upholstered protection of a car gives us the confidence to illustrate exactly what we’re thinking. Sometimes it’s incredibly hard to keep your cool when another driver is behaving like an idiot. But if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a serious road rage incident, you’ll know just how terrifying it can be.

    Understanding a bit about what causes road rage could help to minimise your chances of experiencing it. There’s loads of good advice about how to prevent the ‘red mist’ of anger in yourself and others, on websites like safermotoring.co.uk. I suspect we could also cut down aggressive driving significantly if drum and bass was banned from all in-car stereos. It’s much harder to get worked into a road-hog frenzy when you’re singing along to the Carpenters.

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