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Road Rage: Drivers vs pedestrians

Published on: 09 March 2017

Road Rage: Drivers vs pedestrians

Road rage is a major problem on our roads every day; causing anger, stress, anxiety, and accidents. Road rage doesn’t always involve two drivers - sometimes it’s between a driver and a pedestrian. As road users, we all need to learn to deal with these problems, and prevent unnecessary violence towards others on the road – even those walking on the pavement.

Here are some guidelines for drivers and pedestrians to avoid road rage.

  • Due care and obeying the rules of the road:
    All drivers are responsible for driving carefully under any circumstances. This responsibility is called a duty of reasonable care or due care. Only cross an intersection when the light turns green for you (as a driver or pedestrian) – or it is safe to do so.

    Motorists should not speed through settlements or residential areas. Remember that pedestrians always have the right-of-way at a pedestrian crossing or intersection.

    Pedestrians are also obligated to follow the rules of the road — just like any other user of the road. ONLY cross a public road at a pedestrian crossing or an intersection – jaywalking is illegal! Always walk on the pavement. If there is no pavement, walk facing oncoming traffic.
  • Drunk drivers/pedestrians:
    Drunk driving is one of the biggest causes of accidents on our roads, while distracted or drunk pedestrians are also a danger on the roads. Drunk pedestrians may stumble onto the road, causing accidents.

    Pedestrians should not walk around when under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication.
  • Distracted drivers/pedestrians:
    Motorists - don't drive with your headset plugged into both ears. Likewise, pedestrians shouldn't keep headsets plugged in while crossing the road – both motorists and pedestrians need to stay alert and be able to hear what’s going on around you.

    We know the dangers of driving and texting, but distracted pedestrians looking at their mobile devices or talking on their phones may also make grave errors — such as walking across the road while the light is red, which will put them and the motorists in danger. Remember your life is more important than the conversation!
  • Stay alert:
    Motorists need to stay alert, especially at night or during bad weather when pedestrians are hard to see – and always be on the lookout for pedestrians, even in places they shouldn’t be, such as a freeway.

    Pedestrians should always wear reflective or light coloured clothing especially when walking at night. If possible, try to avoid walking on the roads at night.
  • Make eye contact:
    It’s important for drivers and pedestrians to make eye contact with one another when at a stop. it’s a safe and effective way of making sure that the driver and pedestrian are on the same page, and don’t try to cross at the same time. In addition, maybe share a simple nod or wave, and you both may have saved each other from a great deal of rage.   

It is important to remember that pedestrians are extremely vulnerable and more likely to be seriously injured than a driver. If you take due care and give pedestrians notice, room, and time to move out of your path, you may be able to avoid any unnecessary rage-fuelled confrontations, injuries, or even death.