Road rage is increasing in South Africa. With the advent of social media, these outrages are often captured for posterity.
Aggressive, fast and reckless driving are also on the increase. This is found particularly in urban areas where traffic congestion and urgency are contributing factors.
It’s just not hijacking and accidents that motorists are fearful of, road rage has become a major threat.
Bruised and stitched, the Sithole brothers were victims of road rage earlier in March. 43 year old Mondli Sithole was the driver at the time.
“Driving back from mall, a taxi was blocking the road. I flicked my lights and hooted, asking the driver to make way for us to pass. When we drove past them, they got angry and the driver swore at us. We realised that they were following us so we kept driving until we got home, that is where we were beaten by a group of taxi drivers.”
Nathi Sithole was not safe either. “When we got to the house, my brother ran into my house, but they got into the house. I thought because I was not the driver, I was not part of this. But I was assaulted and robbed. My 78-year-old mother and my brother’s wife were beaten up and robbed too.”
But what drives drivers to such aggressiveness? Counselling Psychologist, Jeremy Bayer, says it is feelings of superiority and narcissist pride.
“Feelings of superiority and narcissist pride. The mentality with narcissist pride is that everyone must move out the way because the road belongs to me. I am the ruler here and everyone must move out of the way. So do you see how that speaks to a mentality of superiority or a need for control? So the moment you violate my control or get in the way can spark a road rage, so you are violating my space, getting in the way of where I need to be and I am currently under stress.”
Bayer offered a word of advice for those behind the wheel.
“Has to have a sense of emotional intelligence and humanity and realised that the bigger picture is not about the driving, but it is about where you at mentally in life. So if you are persistently anxious in life, worried in life, you have to deal with it.”
Authorities have pleaded with motorists not to resort to any form of violence to avoid such attacks. For the Sitholes, only justice will suffice as six suspects were arrested after the scuffle.
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