Road rage – what to do when you encounter a road rage?

Besides the usual Myvi videos that surface online, it is common to see road rage videos go viral online these days. Recently, a video on Facebook went viral where a young motorcyclist was mercilessly beating up a senior citizen in Padang Jawa, Selangor in the middle of the road after an alleged collision between the old man’s car and his motorcycle.

What qualifies as road rage?

  • Cursing, threatening, and offensive gestures
  • Profusely honking
  • Throwing objects or hitting another vehicle
  • Driving aggressively on purpose: brake checking, tailgating, ramming, overtaking, or forcing another driver off the road.

Causes of Road Rage

In most cases, road rage has nothing to do with traffic but with our personal emotions. We may be already feeling upset over an argument with a friend, co-worker, or a partner. When we let those emotions takeover, it may affect the way we behave and react behind the wheel.

Here are some factors that contributes to road rage:

Traffic delays

Nobody likes being stuck in traffic and this further frustrates those who are running late.


Much like the internet, we gain a sense of anonymity since it is less likely that we will see the same cars and people again while driving. This makes us less hesitant to honk, gesture and cut off someone.


Learned behavior

We do not realize that the reason we road rage is because we learnt this behavior from a parent or someone close to us until it becomes a norm.


How to prevent a road rage?

Before getting behind the wheel

Leave early

We are all aware about the “Malaysian timing” but give yourself time to get where you’re going and you’ll be less likely to get impatient.

Cool off

If you find yourself upset or overthinking things, give yourself some time to cool off. Count to 10 slowly, before you react.

While Driving

Have empathy

Cut others some slack if they are driving slowly, because they may just be lost or having problems with their car.

Avoid tailgating

Keep a safe distance with the car in front of you as tailgating is not only dangerous to the other driver, but to yourself as well.

Do not stop to confront another driver

Stopping and confronting another driver can escalate things quickly and you do not want to deal with the wrong person who may have less to lose than you.


How to deal with aggressive drivers?

Do not stop. Stay in your car

The last thing you want to do is to stop and get out of your car. You are much safer and protected in your car with your doors locked and windows shut.


Drive to a nearby police station, alert authorities OR the nearest petrol station / shops where there are others around

If the person is behaving aggressively, drive to the nearest police station or dial the emergency authorities for help.

Alternatively, head to a nearby area where there is more likely to be more people around like nearby shoplots and petrol stations. There are less chances that the road bully will engage in a fight if there are more people around.


Get a dashcam

Having a dashcam in your car can prove to be a useful investment to record the actions of the aggressor as evidence.

Do not fight back

This may cost you your life or seriously injure you. Even if you fight your aggressor and injure them, there is still an offense you have to pay for. All in all, do not engage with them.


Hopefully you don’t have to encounter road bullies and we recommend you not to provoke other drivers as well. We hope this will serve as a guide and if you tend to rage easily there are ways to manage stress and anger


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