Most of us know how to drive, and we do our best to drive safely on the road. But how many of us can honestly say we’ve never lost our cool behind the wheel?
Road rage seems to come with the territory when you’re driving these days. But it’s dangerous and unhealthy, and can be a real problem if you suffer from it regularly.
Of course, some people will say they’ve never been afflicted by road rage. But that could be because they don’t even realise it’s happening to them.
Here are some of the symptoms to look out for:
- Aggressive driving—sudden acceleration or braking, tailgating, cutting in front of people, preventing other drivers from changing lanes.
- Using the horn excessively, flashing lights at other drivers.
- Swearing, shouting obscenities and insults, hand gestures.
- Stopping the vehicle, getting out for a confrontation.
- Constantly being pulled over and/or arguing with police officers.
We’re all probably guilty of doing one or two of these every once in a while. But if you seem to be doing them every time you drive, you need to do something about it before you cause serious damage to yourself or someone else.
Here are some tips and techniques for avoiding road rage.
Aggressive driving puts you and everyone else in danger. Give up the weaving and frequent speeding, and if you see anyone else doing the same just hang back and give them a wide birth.
Avoid other dangerous drivers
As well as avoiding aggressive drivers, you should also steer clear of anyone driving poorly on the road ahead. If someone is swerving, talking on the phone or not paying attention, give them plenty of space.
If anger is a real problem for you, it might be worth doing an anger management course. It will help you stay calm in situations that would normally set you off.
Get plenty of sleep
People often get cranky when they’re tired. If this is a problem for you, make sure you get enough sleep before you start driving. You’ll also be more alert, which will make you a better driver.
Play good music
Certain types of music can heighten your emotions and cause you to act more aggressively. Try listening to calming music or audiobooks instead.
Heavy traffic increases stress, and your chances of lashing out at other drivers. So try to avoid busier routes and rush hour if you can. Running late can also put you under pressure as you drive, so try to leave enough time so you’re not rushing to your destination.
These tips and techniques will all help you to avoid road rage. But above all, keep calm. If someone cuts in front of you, it is not the end of the world. Remember: the most important thing isn’t getting there early. It’s getting there safely.