Managing Road Rage In Nigeria
Cursing, shouting, insulting hand signs and all the other things we do on the road when other road users are inconsiderate to us while we drive, can be classified as road rage. The Wikipedia says “Road rage is aggressive or angry behaviour exhibited by a driver of a road vehicle, which includes rude and offensive gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver or a pedestrian in an effort to intimidate or release frustration”. Examples include; intentionally hitting the vehicle infront of you, pulling over and engaging in physical confrontation, inflicting damage on another vehicle as retaliation etc.
It is diffcult not to exhibit some elements of road rage while driving in Nigeria, especially in Lagos. On these roads, we have commercial buses (Danfo), tricycles (Keke), motorcycles (Okada), other cars/buses and then pedestrians. The mix of these road users with different frames of mind can be toxic but really does not justify road rage. It is known that road users can be inconsiderate, impatient and reckless, but it is essential that you remain calm at all times to manage different situations you may experience while on the road.
Road rage is a condition that can affect almost anyone and it is important to know your triggers and develop strategies to mitigate them. Road rage preventive measures include; playing soothing music, listening to podcasts/audiobooks, ensure your air conditioning works especially when outside temperature is high, keep a good amount of space between you and other drivers and have an understanding that there is no perfect driver. It is important to note that you may also be the cause of other drivers road range and you must be quick to apologise by mouthing that you are sorry, allowing enough space for them to go past you or simply waving.
Driving can be a stressful and emotional experience for many and for some it increases stress levels, but we must be aware that driving is a communal activity. Being on the road means we have joined a community of other road users and we should look beyond our individual experiences and driving skills.
Post written by Damilola Odunlade-Akeju
Founder/CEO @ DriveMe