Editorial: Don’t let your road rage get the better of you

Editorial: Don’t let your road rage get the better of you

Road safety largely comes down to trusting the drivers around us.

Alone on a dark road. Suddenly there’s a car behind you and they are driving erratically, maybe shining their lights deliberately in your eyes, speeding up and then slowing down, or tailgating closely. This is a rural road and there are no houses visible, just a few scattered long driveways and lots of trees and bush on either side. You check, but there’s no cell phone service.

It sounds like something out of a horror movie, but it’s a scenario that’s quite possible in many places in the Cowichan Valley.

While the details are slightly different, this very thing happened to a woman recently on Cowichan Lake Road. It was the middle of the day, rather than at night, but the stalkerish behaviour of the group in the threatening car was even worse, and they were clearly up to no good, eventually pulling sideways to completely block the road. Some quick thinking and some luck are the only things that had the situation resolved with everyone safe and sound.

A road rage incident recently on Herd Road saw a Cowichan senior suffer blows to the head after a man punched in his side window to get to him.

Sadly, we’ve come to a point where road safety demands that we do everything we can not to stop if it looks like another driver has an issue with us. Who knows how badly the Cowichan Lake Road incident would have gone if the driver had been forced to stop?

Road safety largely comes down to trusting the drivers around us. We have to at least be able to trust that they are not going to deliberately hit us or run us off the road. Defensive driving can only do so much for us. When we get onto the road, we form an unspoken pact with those around us that we will follow the basic rules to keep all of us alive and well.

So for those who find themselves becoming impatient while driving, or find their temper flaring, before you decide to “bump” the car in front of you, give someone the finger, or yell at them from your open driver’s window — or worse — take some deep breaths. As soon as you take your hands off the wheel to give someone a one-finger salute, or direct all of your attention out your window at the person you’re screaming at, you have become a distracted driver yourself, taking your attention off the bigger picture of what’s happening around you on the road. The consequences of your fit of rage are not worth it. So someone cut you off or was driving too slowly for your taste. In the grand scheme of things, these are minor inconveniences at worst.

Don’t be foolish.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Most Read