KUALA LUMPUR: Road users are advised to plan and manage their emotions as best as possible before starting their trip, especially for individuals or families who will embark on a long journey to return to their hometowns, in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.

Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) Behavioural Analysis and Education Unit head, Maslina Musa, said that managing emotions among drivers is increasingly important in today’s age, where people are often pressed for time and tend to violate traffic signals and rules.

“Nowadays everyone is in a hurry and will (tend) to act recklessly, for example running traffic lights and driving over the speed limit; that’s when controlling emotions is crucial.

“Road rage will occur if emotions are not managed properly, causing aggressive behaviour and insensitivity to the surrounding conditions, thereby bringing risks to other road users,“ she said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s ‘Apa Khabar Malaysia’, this morning.

She said that, apart from planning the journey in advance, motorists should expect more time to be spent on the road, due to high traffic volume in conjunction with the festive season.

Maslina said due to this, the role of the front passenger (co-pilot or navigator) is equally important, to ensure that the situation in the vehicle is safe and calm, so that the driver’s emotions and attention are unaffected.

“(Co-pilot) don’t be an instigator. In the event of any accident, focus and calm yourself (as well as the driver), and avoid making a reaction that is likely to harm all parties.

“You can also chat with the driver about positive things to maintain attention. For those with families, help control the children in the back of the car, and make sure they don’t interfere with driving,“ she said.

She also advised all drivers not to force themselves, and to take time to rest sufficiently before or during the journey at the rest and service (R&R) areas for highway users. - Bernama

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