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What brings out the monster in motorists

Jul 19, 2007 02:00 PM IST India India

New Delhi: A minor accident which shouldn't have led to more than a few heated words snowballed into an assault that cost 35-year-old Jitender Pawar his life on Monday.

He was a victim of road rage, a phenomenon that can range from honking to verbal abuse, rash driving to even brutal -- and as in Pawar's case -- sometimes fatal violence.

Says Fortis Hospital Psychiatrist, Dr Sameer Malhotra, "The reasons for road rage are many. Temperament, loss of empathy, disregard for authority and a feeling that people can get away with such acts are some of the most common reasons."

Stress is another big factor, when it comes to road rage. And with the noon sun blazing, a 40 degree celcius temperature, as well as the roar and fumes of rush hour traffic, sometimes all it takes is a car tailgating to set off a catastrophe.

"When we are under pressure, we release hormones that bring about aggression and when we can't channelise it, it can lead to trouble," says Dr Malhotra.

So what can you do to stop that whole process of escalation and try and contain the situation?

Dr Malhotra prescribes meditation, yoga and drug therapy as the best ways of getting rid of excessive frustration and anger.

So, the next time you lose your cool while on the road, take a deep breath, because let's face it, you are probably not the only one having a bad day.