We here in America tend to view road rage as a uniquely domestic phenomenon, with the chances of an encounter increasing proportionally to the amount of traffic on the road. It may not be a serious problem in Fairbanks, Alaska, but we can tell you it’s a very real threat in locations like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.
As this rather startling video shows, it’s a problem in Australia too. This particular incident occurred near Brisbane, but from the reporters comments about Australian roads becoming “bitumen battlefields,” we’d bet it isn’t a localized problem.
Though we don’t see what prompted the incident, driver (and former police officer) Ken Olson later admits to stopping short, which caused the driver behind him to lock his brakes.
Perhaps that came across as a “brake check,” which is common slang for deliberately stopping in an abrupt manner to frustrate the driver behind you (a really, really bad idea, by the way). Whatever the trigger, it sent the driver of the black pickup (or “ute” in Australian) into a homicidal rage.
If you’re crazy enough to spend nearly ten minutes chasing down another driver, ramming his vehicle repeatedly and actually jumping on the hood (or bonnet) to pound in the windshield with your fists, let us be the first to tell you that you need to make some changes in your life, perhaps starting with serious stress management.
Kidding aside, road rage is a dangerous problem, and if you find yourself on the receiving end, the best thing to do is disengage from the situation as quickly as possible. If you can get to a police station safely, that’s ideal; if not, any public area (with as many people as possible) will do.
If the situation escalates to the point that you need to contact the police, try to be as good a witness as possible. Get the license plate, but pay attention to details like mismatched paint or existing body damage, too.
Above all else, be aware behind the wheel. Road rage has no common trigger, but it generally starts when one driver perceives that he was slighted by another. Trying not to be “that driver” is the best way to prevent road rage from happening.