CONTROL: Just walk away if you are on the receiving end of road rage this Christmas holidays.
CONTROL: Just walk away if you are on the receiving end of road rage this Christmas holidays. Warren Lynam

How to avoid road rage these Christmas holidays

A SPLIT second of anger on the road can lead to serious implications including car damage, hospitalisation or even loss of life.

A recent survey of almost 4000 Australians found 88% of respondents claimed to have been victims of road rage.

Kingaroy woman Christine Maree worked in the truck industry for almost a decade and said she believed aggressiveness on the road was on the rise.

"There definitely wasn't as much back then. There was the odd finger out the window but it has increased over the years," Ms Maree said. "People are getting much more frustrated and short tempered. They think it's their road and they can do what they want."

Ms Maree said she noticed a spike in road rage incidents around the Christmas period.

"From my experience, it usually happens in small, intimate situations like getting a park, like we're all going to die if we don't get into the shop," she said.

"I've never seen an out and out fight but there's a lot of it going on. We're all guilty of it, usually it's because we're frustrated or just stupid."

Murgon police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Lance Gutteridge said road rage offences were reported from time to time in the region.

"There has been a few cases where people engage in aggressive behaviour towards other motorists and it's often an ego thing," Snr Sgt Gutteridge said.

"A lot of our violence is about people not walking away. They have to prove a point, prove their dominance and they end up dying or in hospital as a result."

Snr Sgt Gutteridge said the key to reducing road rage was learning tolerance.

"Unfortunately this time of year there's a lot of cars on the road and congestion in our cities," he said.

Shopping centre parks get scarce, people get all hyped up and aggressive - even a small thing like someone taking a car park can result in a fight.

"It's often a reflection of our society; we are less tolerant of people."

Snr Sgt Gutteridge said most actions related to road rage were illegal including deliberately cutting someone off, tail gating and dangerous driving.

"When you're on the road, you are required to drive with due care and attention and required by law to drive with consideration for other road users," Sgt Gutteridge said.

"It just comes down to teaching people to be more tolerant of others."

South Burnett

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