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Driving in Spain

Road Rage Kills

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In an interview in 2020, when asked about those killed and injured on the roads, the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, spoke of road rage, or in his words, “road violence”, instead of road accidents. “I like to talk about road violence. The injuries and deaths on the asphalt are not a result of chance. They are a consequence, in most cases, of recklessness, but they are avoidable. There is no need to hesitate, and we have to call things by their name.”

What the minister declared had its logic. The term accident rate implies a degree of accident that presupposes the inevitability of the event, which is what Grande-Marlaska denies, hence the reason we generalise with the term “incident” rather than accident. Thus, it starts from a speech that defends, as never before, the history of existing road awareness campaigns, aimed at making us all aware of the responsibility we acquire behind the wheel. The road is a public space of coexistence.

Other analogous concepts to road violence would be vehicular violence or aggressive driving. This entails anti-civic behaviour (if not directly criminal) that can have very serious consequences and that, in urban contexts, can be seen quite frequently, precisely because of the stress to which urbanites are subjected every day.

People who, while driving, are capable of losing control over themselves and exercising road violence towards others, manifest these behaviours in many ways: from honking the horn repeatedly and in places where it is prohibited to threatening other drivers. and even committing aggression. Braking, acceleration, shouting, aggressive gestures, chases… is what we can encounter when confronted with this type of individuals.

It might seem obvious, but the best way of avoiding road rage or road violence is to stay calm, and the best way to stay calm is to drive with more consideration and within the confines of the regulations, which includes such things as speed, maintaining the proper distance, giving way, avoiding harsh manoeuvres, and signalling our intentions well in advance of a move, which we subsequently only carry out if it´s safe to do so.

If you do find yourself at the receiving end of any of the road rage behaviours mentioned, the best advice is to not engage. Remain calm and try to leave the situation in a controlled manner, and should things escalate, stop the vehicle and call for assistance, still without engaging as much as possible.

The post Road Rage Kills first appeared on N332.es – Driving In Spain.

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