Anger on the streets has led to a number of injuries among drivers
On an unfortunate afternoon, a traffic jam on the streets of Delhi witnessed a gruesome road rage incident. A motorist rammed into a police officer with whom he had had an intense argument. The cop died on the spot. Incidents like this are reported once every four days as per the Delhi traffic report.
According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the year 2014 witnessed 4.09 lakh cases of road rage and rash driving pan India. At least 4.79 lakh people were injured in these instances. The two major cities in Kerala – Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram – recordeda maximum number of cases that left 22,300 injured. Chennai and Delhi bagged third and fourth rank respectively.
The statistics mentioned abovehighlight the gravity of the situation. Here are some common causes of road rage:
Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)
- According to psychologists, erratic and potentially dangerous behaviour is a medical condition termed 'Intermittent Explosive Disorder' (IED); it affects one out 20 citizens.
- People with this condition are unaware of their violent action and do not realise its intensity. They cannot resist aggressive impulses and can be threatening in a fit of rage.
- Congested roads, chaotic traffic and honking can trigger the condition resulting in sudden outbursts.
- IED is often associated with aggressive driving which is defined by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration as that which can endanger people or property, or both.
- According to a research paper, drivers in the age group of 19 to 25 show extreme aggression.
- Tailgating, abrupt lane changes, speeding, overtaking from wrong side and not waiting for red signal are common practices of aggressive drivers.
- Often a competitive environment fuels such behaviour. In a congested situation, the driver might feel it utterly necessary to compete for space, get clear way, and accelerate more than the permissible limit.
- In a 2015 survey conducted by Ford Motor Company, traffic congestion and parking were the top factors that caused high anxiety levels in Indian drivers. At least 60% of drivers were stressed due to these.
- Underlying stress is one of the key reason of aggression and violence,widely seen when two parties fight on the road.
- Modern lifestyle can also be accounted for increasing stress levels as per a few psychologists. Growing impatience, egoistic attitude and self-interest can cause rage among drivers.
There is a dire need to tackle this issue, which is increasing every year. Delhi alone hasseen the registration of 34 cases of road rage in 2011, 49 cases in 2012, 53 cases in 2013, and 93 cases in 2014.
Possible Solutions to this Problem
Hefty fines and punishments should be meted out to the offenders. In addition, the use of surveillance and automatic enforcement cameras at locations with heavy traffic can help in tracing the criminals.
Contact the Police
Instead of getting into a fight with an offender, the victim should contact the police and seek their intervention.
According to a study, 47% of drivers sing and listen to soothing music to tolerate chaotic traffic. Driving tension-free and coping with one’s anger can reduce the problem of road rage drastically.