ROAD RAGE: Motorists can be dangerously intolerant of others’ mistakes, losing focus on the road.
ROAD RAGE: Motorists can be dangerously intolerant of others’ mistakes, losing focus on the road. Chris Mccormack

Chill out and give learner drivers a chance, instructor says

A LOCAL driving instructor has called on Gladstone drivers to remember the days when they were learning to drive, after seeing L platers cop a barrage of abuse.

Candita Hamblin, of Training Wheels Driver Training, said she had come across a staggering number of people displaying road rage recently and, "while I can certainly sympathise with certain situations, I don't understand the way in which people show their frustrations".

Writing in her regular column in The Community Advocate, Ms Hamblin said common forms of road rage she had seen included aggressive driving, including sudden acceleration, braking and close tailgating, cutting others off in a lane, deliberately preventing someone from merging, and sounding the horn when not necessary.

"Learner drivers and their supervisors cop quite a lot of road rage from other road users," she said.

"I know it can be frustrating if you happen to be stuck behind a learner driver who is having trouble while taking off, and they happen to stall the vehicle a couple of times but, honestly, honking of horns and making rude gestures does not help at all.

"If anything, it only makes the situation worse.

"Given a little time and breathing room, they will soon work it out and get going out of the way. One of the things most learner drivers are concerned about is holding people up behind them."

Ms Hamblin said if motorists remembered what it was like when they first learnt how to drive, it would help them realise we all had to start somewhere.

"We all have bad days where nothing is going right for us. This, however, is no reason to take it out on other road users," she said.

Strategies Ms Hamblin suggest to reduce road rage include:

  •  Not driving while upset and distracted
  •  Leave earlier so you don't have to worry about whether you will be on time or not
  •  If you're going to yell, close your window first then go for it - but it might help pulling over first
  •  Listen to music that relaxes you while driving
  •  Do breathing exercises to help calm you down
  •  Avoid driving during peak periods such as school times
  •  Choose a different mode of transport.


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