Road rage is very much alive in Petaling Jaya.
I was coming off the ramp near Jalan (1) Timur, Petaling Jaya, (2) onto the Federal Highway, heading towards Klang. When I was half off the ramp – half on the Federal Highway itself; I saw in my rear-view mirror, a mid-size van / lorry / truck about the 3-ton category, at a distance.
Within seconds, it was right up to my car’s rear bumper, with all 4 headlamps flashing at me. Probably trying to get me out of his way, by forcing me off the road and use the emergency lane. When I saw that vehicle so close that I could only see its headlights flashing; I was not about to drive on the emergency lane, and moved into the middle lane on my right.
The vehicle followed me to this middle lane, continued to tailgate me. Then, he overtook me on the right, came into the lane that I was in, braked and stopped right there, with his hazard lights blinking.
The next I knew was, the driver got out of his vehicle and came towards me, shouting. I, on the other hand; knew that it was a dangerous spot to be at with a heavy flow of traffic coming up from the rear, and had the presence of mind to want to get out of that spot. It was like being a sitting duck, waiting for an accident to happen. I saw through the rear view mirror, that cars were beginning to bunch up in the rear.
I managed to squeeze out of the tight situation on the left and continue on my journey as there was no real spot to stop and have a conversation / argument with this guy. I was thinking of the safety of other vehicles on the road, mine and his, too.
While I was driving off, I thought to myself. Would he have pulled off the same stunt if he was driving a smaller vehicle than mine? He was going at quite a speed as he was about 250 meters to 300 meters away behind when I got onto the Federal Highway. This means he was speeding on the far left lane. The driver was probably in his early to mid-30s, casually and decently dressed. His vehicle looked new.
The vehicle passed me by after sometime, moving at a respectable speed; with no fanfare. It looked like that the driver had a bad start to his day earlier on. Something else could have been on his mind at that time.
There might be a solution for all drivers. They should wear a smartwatch with a stress level function that would monitor their stress levels. If for instance, the moment the stress level reaches a “high” or “very high” level, a buzzer would vibrate on their watch indicating to them to take a few deep breaths, to bring down their stress levels to a more manageable level. At the same time, these high levels are recorded automatically on their smartphone health apps. If ever a legal dispute was to arise; the health app on their smartphones could be called up to prove that their stress levels at that point of time was at a healthy level.
Stay cool and have a KitKat. Or any other chocolate. And coffee, of course. And get that smartwatch.
1. The Malay word, “jalan” in this context, means road. It also means “go”.
2. Petaling Jaya is a city in the state of Selangor, Malaysia.