JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A survey by the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Social Change and the Human Sciences Research Council has shown that people in South Africans have become ”stressed” because of lockdown and CoVid-19.
Its data claims that the country’s adults are depressed, fearful,or just plain lonely under the ”lockdown” pandempanic.* Restrictions are easing but financial implications continue and MasterDrive’s MD Eugene Herbert fears the stress could affect everyday driving behaviour.
“If you take stress on to the road,” he warned, ”you might become aggressive and that can lead to trouble. You might believe your driving is harmless because you’re not threatening violence but it is still dangerous and can cause a crash.
”It also raises the stress level of drivers so, next time you get behind the wheel, ask yourself if you’re guilty of any (see below ) behaviours.”
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Many people have not driven for months so their spatial awareness could be compromised and muscle memory fading so aggressive behaviour can become even more dangerous:
• Speeding, even when the circumstances make thisWA• Driving too close to the car ahead to pressure its driver to move out of your way rather than simply overtaking.
• Breaking traffic laws that endanger others.
• Dangerous lane changes and weaving through traffic causes risk – such as squeezing into small gaps or cutting off other drivers.
• Blocking other drivers because they annoyed you.
• Slowing suddenly to discourage or ”punish” a tailgater.
• Flashing drivers or forcing others to move increases the chance of a crash.
• Focusing exclusively on the car ahead of you and not looking further ahead.
• Any moves done to intimidate another driver.
Aggressive driving can morph into road rage very quickly, especially if you’re dealing with other stress. Herbert warns: “If you’re guilty of such behaviour take a moment to calm down before you have something to regret.”
*Carman’s Corner word!