Auto tips: Road Etiquette, dealing with rage and bullies


In Malaysia, road rage and bullies are a common sight every day and at every corner. Motorists in this country are constantly aggravated by several factors from the weather to others they deemed inconsiderate or too slow. Even worse are those who are intoxicated and constantly on a midnight prowl. It’s true that there are plenty of drivers out there who’re inconsiderate i.e. hogging two lanes or fast lane, blocking the path of others, slowing down for nothing, braking for no reason and always checking up on their smartphones while driving. These factors lead to the rise of road rage and bullies.

With an increase in number of vehicles on the road each day, cars more than doubled in the city and freeways. At peak hours in the city, traffic can slow to a crawl at both directions. Often, motorists would ask, where the heck is a traffic police when you need one?! Law and order don’t necessarily go hand in hand in this country. During heavy traffic times, what’s the most common sight in this country? Motorists here prefer to weave in and out of traffic or cut into the other lane in order to shave time and get ahead. This usually contributes to a massive traffic jam. If everyone can just line-up proper and follow the queue, imagine the possibility? The reason Malaysians act the way they do is simply because they are selfish and just inconsiderate.  Some drivers even resorted to rage and bullying to get ahead. The other factor which causes a traffic jam is car breakdown or an accident. When an accident happens, Malaysians usually slow down to stare, instead of moving along. This usually causes a major pile-up behind. Almost 80 percent of accidents in this country occur due to negligence and simply ignorance.

How to deal with road rage or a road bully

As drivers, we all have a responsibility to ensure safety to all road users, motorists and pedestrians, at all times. Often times, we are forced to confront drivers on road rage or road bullies. When faced with a road bully, the best thing to do is speed dial the police (make sure to have ‘999’ on your speed dial). If things really get out of hand, lock your doors, call the cops or drive to a busy spot.  

Stay calm. Most incidents on the roads can leave you overwhelmed, especially after a road rage situation. Before continuing your journey, why don’t you try looking for a quiet space to stop where you can breathe deeply and recollect yourself

Don’t react. If you see someone acting in an intimidating or aggressive manner, don’t make eye contact or behave in a manner that could aggravate the situation further. Resist the urge to retaliate as you’d never predict how the other driver’d respond. It’s pointless to get into an accident because of an instant road rage, which could cause you some unnecessary damages, to your car and your wallet.

Avoid it. Avoid tailgating and responding to rude gestures and remarks. Acknowledging your mistake with a cheery wave will often defuse a situation immediately. Malaysians have a tendency to over-react and thought everyone’s out for blood. Most of the time, they simply couldn’t let it go. Remember you’re not the only driver on the road. If possible, swallow your pride and continue with your journey rather than getting caught up in a road rage or an argument. If you are at fault admit it and apologize. This ‘backing off’ doesn’t make you lesser of a man, believe it…

Malaysia’s capital city or the so-called Klang Valley have some of the busiest and most congested roads, so delays and frustration are inevitable as we head about on daily journeys. Give yourself extra time to catch the latest traffic updates before you set off. The worst delays on our main roads are caused by breakdowns, incidents and accidents. Make sure that you and your vehicle are prepared for anything that might happen out there. “Keep calm and motor on!”

So there you go, this guide merely serves as an advice to considerate drivers. Most Malaysians should take to heart and adhere to the motto of ‘Staying Calm’ on the road.

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