Until 1999 road rage was a relatively unknown occurrence in South Africa. Although it probably occurred generally on our roads, at that stage no recognition was given to it by the media and research institutions. An increase in the occurrence of aggressive driving led to the media popularizing the term “road rage”. Simultaneously with this, organizations like the National Research Foundation identified road rage as a growing social problem. A literature survey showed that this was a world wide phenomenon. The United States of America already took the lead with research in this field. International conferences were held to address the problem and to find possible solutions. In South Africa however, no attempts were made to address this issue. The media only reported the occurrence of road rage increasingly and published general measures to prevent road aggression. Therefore a limited body of research exists regarding road rage. A qualitative study, according to methodological sound research guidelines, was undertaken to address this limitation. Criminological as well as psychological theories were used to guide the research and to explain the occurrence of road rage. A thematic analysis was used to identify specific themes in an exploratory way. The theories and existing research served as a basis to identify the research questions. Within the framework of qualitative research, non-probability-sampling was used as the most applicable method in the selection of research participants. Interviews were conducted with ten research participants. From the analysis of the information it is clear that all the research participants are familiar with the concept “road rage”. Different situations on the road were identified as contributing to the occurrence of aggressive road use, for example the flashing of lights and swearing. The majority of the research participants acknowledged that they themselves were also guilty of road rage. Furthermore different solutions were investigated to prevent road rage. Based on the findings, certain recommendations were made regarding the prevention of aggression on the road.
Dissertation (MA (Criminology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.