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When I’m walking through town, sometimes, someone will rush out of a shop door and we bump (or nearly bump) into each other.

Usually we both apologise, smile and rush on.

Occasionally I reflect that I apologised even when it was clearly not my fault. Somehow I feel better for the experience.

Sometimes, someone will rush out of a side street but we don’t bump into each other. Which is lucky – because we are both in our respective cars. I get irritated and make sure the other person knows about it. The other person usually returns the favour – and I get more irritated. Feeling self-righteous and somewhat superior.

Then I notice that the other driver is the same person I almost bumped into while walking earlier. However this time there is a difference – WE ARE IN OUR CARS.

So what makes me change from a polite (even charming) pedestrian into a snarling, over-sensitive motorist?

Perhaps it’s just fear!