Starting your day by waking up at the wrong side of the bed or getting off work stressed and agitated, we can’t help but find a way to release our anger.
There are times where we can successfully keep our frustrations to ourselves and move on peacefully throughout the day. But unfortunately, there are just some days where we are tested to our limits – especially when driving on the road.
The pent-up anger and frustration, plus the people making mistakes and being impolite with their driving maneuvers on the road, can create a cascade of hostility that often results in what we call road rage.
If you want to avoid experiencing road rage, here are some tips that will make driving easier and more pleasant for every motorist.
Practice polite driving habits
Apparently, most road rage incidents that lead to physical aggression first start with tailgating and cutting traffic. So it’s best to avoid tailgating, cutting off other vehicles, speeding, weaving, leaving high beam headlights on, and erratic braking. If possible, be patient and use your turn signals, a courteous driver will clear the way for you faster than you think.
If someone else’s driving doesn’t meet your standards, just move away. Simply let aggressive drivers go around you and typically, they will quickly be on their way.
Don’t make driving a competitive sport
The public road is not a race track. Remember that getting home safely is more important than getting worked up over a vehicle that’s cut you off or gotten in your way.
Get proper driver training
Being a responsible driver and knowing the rules of the road can help you create a calmer environment as you drive. Driver training can help with this, plus you’ll learn how to deal with stressful situations and even how to handle an accident.
Leave early or on time
Habitual lateness is one of the driving factors of unsafe driving. So, give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Adding a cushion to your schedule will help you from feeling stressed. Also, make sure to check traffic reports for construction, accidents, and other delays before leaving.
Change Your Route
You may consider finding a different route or finding one with fewer stoplights, which means fewer red lights to slow you down. A different route might be longer on the map but actually, take less time — and reduce your stress levels during the drive.
Maintain Your Car
If your car is overheating in heavy traffic, you may find yourself more stressed — and more prone to anger that can lead to road rage. You don’t want to have to look for a safe place to pull over during rush hour traffic, so keep up your car maintenance to ensure you don’t end up with an avoidable breakdown.
Use your horn sparingly
Horns should primarily be used in emergency situations. Tap your horn lightly if you need to get a driver’s attention, and give drivers ahead of you at lights a few extra seconds of grace before honking to remind them to move through the intersection.
Pull over if necessary
Driving while feeling distressed, upset, or drowsy is a trait that shouldn’t be practiced on the road. Pull over and take time to restore your order by creating a relaxing atmosphere inside your car. You can listen to soft music or just take a pause and rest. You’re the driver, so you’re the boss.
Learn to say “Thanks” and “Sorry”
Civility and good manners encourage other drivers to do the same. If you’re in the wrong, acknowledge your mistakes (nobody is perfect, after all) and apologize through eye contact or a quick gesture. Be reasonable and don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment.