While the number of people who are likely to use violence while driving is thankfully small, they do exist.

Criminals are over-represented in motor vehicle crashes and just how many of these crashes are actually accidental is anyone's guess.

People with mental illnesses that may predispose the person to violence, such as paranoid schizophrenia, can be a major problem when behind the wheel - as one of the stories in the NZMSC book "Crashes and Crises" shows only too clearly.

People affected by alcohol or drugs are probably the major problem on our roads and definitely when it comes to using terrorist actions against innocent other motorists. And if you mix drink or drugs with criminal tendencies or mental illnesses, things become ten times worse.

What prompts a road terrorist attack?

The reason can be as minor as a driver glancing in the terrorist's direction or as major as the terrorist being aggrieved because a motorcyclist was silly enough to kick out at an "errant" car driver's car door.

The common causes are someone making a rude sign at another driver; impatience; a sign from a driver/rider, such as a disapproving shake of the head, that s/he is annoyed with the terrorist's driving; a mistake on the part of one motorist that provokes an excessive reaction from the terrorist; a match of aggressions; through to a sexually -motivated attack by a male terrorist against a female motorist. Often, for the victim, there is no understandable reason for the attack - it just takes place.

A competent motorcyclist will see the initial attack coming and avoid it, and it won't be until the terrorist attacks for the second time that the motorcyclist will realise that he is REALLY under attack. It's at this time that having the knowledge and skills to handle this sort of situation will take save you.

There are two basics to getting the best of terrorists : conflict avoidance and pre-planned response

Which comes first?

Conflict avoidance

Pre-planned responses



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New Zealand Motorcycle Safety Consultants
PO Box 26-036, Newlands, Wellington, New Zealand