Road Rage is becoming a major concern on our American roadways. According to a report by AAA, close to 80% of drivers admit to not only feeling angry while stuck in traffic, but acting on that anger—whether it be through making gestures, yelling at other motorists, or acting aggressively by cutting someone off or not allowing them to pass. We hear more and more on the nightly news of Road Rage incidents all across our nation, some even ending in death! It makes us think of that old 80’s rap cliché, “Check Yo’self before you Wreck Yo’self.” It’s silly, but very true. We all need to calm down on the road and not let our emotional reactions get out of hand. Reducing Road Rage, what steps can we take?
First of all, we are not telling you not to be human. It is natural and normal to get angry at someone who cuts us off or creates a potentially dangerous situation for us. However, it’s the way we handle the situation as drivers that is the important thing. If you happen to get into a situation with another driver that leaves you feeling excessively angry, annoyed, or aggressive, try taking some simple steps.
Even though it may seem difficult at the moment, be sympathetic about the other driver. Don’t judge him or her right away. Maybe they are having a bad day, or a loved one is ill, or whatever the case. It’s easy to be distracted inside your own mind as well as with outside factors while driving. Don’t just naturally assume that a person is driving poorly on purpose. In addition, all of us believe we are GREAT drivers. However, in reality ALL of us make mistakes on the road. More often than not.
Next, music. It is the great soothing balm of life. Even if you are not a big fan of music, have it on in the car at a safe and ambient level. What we are talking about here is to create a calm atmosphere in your car while driving. Something to subconsciously focus your mind. Believe it or not, driving in total silence (no talking or music) can make some people anxious. Be comfortable and relaxed behind the wheel. Last thing you want is to be tense on the road.
Another thing to make things easier for you while driving is timing your commute. If rush hour makes you feel like you are gonna’ explode (as a lot of us feel) and it is something that may put you on the edge if a road incident occurs, leave for the job earlier in the morning and try avoiding peak traffic hours. When driving home for the day, start out a little later and avoid the traffic at 5 o’clock. Sure, it requires setting the alarm 10-15 minutes earlier in the morning, but if it means avoiding an incident, it’s worth it.
Image Courtesy of AAA.com
Aggressive Driving and Road Rage is unhealthy and unsafe. As our world gets more complicated and more stressed out, we need to find ourselves ways to “let some steam off” both on and off the road. Don’t let a temporary moment of anger or frustration turn into a longer-lasting consequence.
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