Ways to Control Road Rage and De-Stress while Driving
Do you feel extremely stressed or frustrated while driving in congested areas? How do you know if you have road rage or if you are an aggressive driver? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says road rage involves a criminal act of violence, where driving aggressively can mean tailgating another driver, speeding, and running caution and stop lights. Aggressive drivers account for about 1/3 of all vehicle crashes and about 2/3 of those crashes result in fatalities.
Here are the top 10 ways to decrease road rage and aggressiveness:
1 - Get at least 8 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation makes us feel annoyed, resentful, and sometimes even angry.
2 – Allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination on time or before. When you’re in a hurry and punching a clock, you are probably more likely to speed and lose your temper.
3 – Don’t use driving as a way to blow off steam if you are upset. Remember your vehicle can be considered as a weapon if not used properly.
4 – Try listening to more relaxing music like jazz or even a comedy channel instead of something with loud bass or aggressive music.
5 – If you notice that you’re clenching the steering wheel so tight your knuckles are white, loosen up. Or if your foot has a cramp from pushing the pedal to the floor, use the cruise control if traffic is allowing. Roll down the window from time to time and take a deep breath!
6 – Don’t take things personally. If you get cut off or someone in front of you is tapping their brakes, maybe they are just oblivious to what’s going on around them, not trying to piss you off.
7 – People who are more prone to hostile driving are also more likely to have a heart attack. Some other health risks include depression, obesity, and stroke. Is it really worth putting your life in danger? Try to take a deep breath and laugh it off when you become stressed.
8 – Think of being in an open place like a restaurant. Would you act the same if someone cut you off? Most people act differently while in the privacy of their own vehicles rather than in public.
9 – Take the self-test. The American Institute for Public Safety has a RoadRageous Test to determine what type of driver you are: www.aipsnews.com/rurrageous.htm . This will determine whether you are aggressive, hostile, or driving in the war zone.
10 – Remember simple courtesies like allowing a driver to merge or apologizing when you make a mistake. Frequent driving offenses can be punished with fines, loss of license, or even jail time.
We all lose our temper from time to time, but it can be easily prevented with planning and the simple thought of others. “Do unto others” is the motto to follow!