A COURSE in how to deal with road rage incidents was given the green light after more than 70 women drivers took part.
The Women in Gear event was organised by Birchwood Ford, in Sedlescombe Road North, St Leonards.
It was designed to teach local women drivers the basics of car mechanics and personal self-protection.
There was handy advice on roadside get-you-home tips, defensive driving and how to ward off a possible road rage attacker.
Grant Hicks, karate instructor and self-protection specialist, showed drivers how to defend themselves from a would-be mugger.
This involved disarming him or her in three easy moves with the aid of everyday objects such as a torch or a pen.
He said: “Women are perceived as being more vulnerable than men and are seen as an easy target when it comes to road rage. Other people are scared to get involved, even if they see it’s a woman being attacked.”
The psychology behind dangerous and aggressive driving behaviour and dealing with
behind-the-wheel bullies was also explored by ex-police chief inspector Vic Botterill.
He gave advice on how to diffuse a potential road rage situation.
He said: “Mouthing sorry can stop a minor incident turning into road rage. If you know you’re wrong, just say it.
“If it’s gone beyond that and you’re dealing with a violent man, keep your distance, as invading his personal space isn’t going to make the situation better. Speak calmly and never, ever, smile. That will only pour petrol onto what is an emotional bonfire,”
Marion Luckhurst and Dennis Milton, from East Sussex Group of Advanced Motorists, were also on hand to discuss their organisation’s various driving courses.
Visitors were shown how to change a car’s wheel and given practical advice including dealing with roadside emergencies, routine car maintenance and checking oil and fluid levels.
Anna Hodsoll, events co-ordinator for Sussex Coast College, said: “I drive a lot in my job and I thought I knew quite a bit about the practical side of car maintenance. But it was useful to have this knowledge reinforced and refreshed. One can feel vulnerable in certain situations when driving alone and this course did a lot to give me confidence when confronted with potentially hazardous situations.”
For further information about Women in Gear events contact Paula Kemp at Birchwood Ford on 07710 973967.