Based on research done by the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety (Miros), out of the 13.3 million registered drivers in Malaysia, a whopping 2.4 million of these drivers are “highly angry” while behind the wheel.
With everyone always in a hurry in Malaysia, road rage is bound to happen and can escalate to road bully cases. Moreover, roads in Malaysia are now bustling with activity as more vehicles are going out and about, even more so during peak driving hours.
Here’s how you can recognize a road bully and what you can do when you are confronted by one while driving on the road.
Recognizing a Road Bully
Road bullies will employ a number of tactics to intimidate the driver that they’re targeting – in order to get them to move out of the way, to force them to speed up, or just for the thrill of it.
The Most Obvious Sign: The Car is Driving Dangerously
Some dangerous driving behavior you will encounter from road bullies include tailgating, brake checking, and sideswiping. One wrong move and these dangerous actions could spell disaster for both the bully and you.
If you encounter a road bully employing any of these tactics on you, stay calm and try to keep your distance from them. If they’re driving too close to you, change your lanes, slow down safely and let them pass.
The Driver is Yelling Insults & Making Rude Gestures
Another aggressive behavior among road bullies is the use of verbal insults and rude gestures. These include yelling, hurling profanities, throwing rude gestures, and such. They might even flip you off as they pass your car.
It’s best to ignore these when they happen. You might be tempted to stoop down to their levels and retaliate, but it might lead to unnecessary situations. So, keeping your calm and continuing driving as usual is the best course of action.
Actions You Can Take When Confronted
It’s easy to panic when someone is targeting you while driving dangerously and recklessly. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s important to stay calm and do not respond to the situation aggressively.
Take a few deep breaths and keep your wits about you while you drive. Better yet, consider apologizing to the other driver or raise up one of your hands as a gesture to offer a sincere apology – this might pacify the driver. Otherwise, if the situation gets out of hand, drive cautiously to the nearest police station to seek help.
Keep Your Distance
Always keep your distance when confronted by a road bully. You don’t have to speed up or weave through the traffic like an action movie star to get away from them. It’s better to drive safely or according to the speed limit and steer away to allow the road bully to pass.
Stay Inside Your Car
If you have to stop for whatever reason with a road bully in your proximity, never step out of your car without someone you can trust. Make sure you park your car in a public space. Even if the road bully tries to damage your car, stay inside your car and keep your doors locked.
If it escalates to a more worrisome situation, dial 999 to contact the police.
Take Note of Their Details
A normal encounter with a road bully rarely escalates into something dangerous. But when it does, it’s very helpful if you could pay close attention to the driver’s details.
Try to remember important details such as:
- the plate number;
- car model; and
- car color.
You can also record a video of the road bully in action as evidence of the situation if you opt to take legal action.
Drive Safely Always
Remember, the best way is to remain calm when dealing with road bullies and keep your cool to avoid escalating the situation.
If you sense or foresee possible danger, head to the nearest police station or dial 999 for help.
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With that, we wish you many safe journeys ahead.
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