7 Tips for Dealing with Road Rage

road rage
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Road rage and aggressive driving are extremely dangerous and have been known to lead to deaths and serious injuries. While driving aggressively consists of driving behaviors fueled with anger, road rage involves retaliating with hostility or violence.

This may involve using obscene gestures or getting out of your vehicle to kick another car. Although road rage may appear to be harmless, it can lead to sever consequences, such as a misdemeanor or felony.

The truth is, everyone has experienced anger while driving during long commutes and dealing with senseless drivers. Learning how to deal with this fury is what will prevent dangerous incidents from occurring. Furthermore, there are other preventative measures that can help you reduce anger while driving. Read the following sections below to learn how to deal with road rage and how to make your daily commutes a little less stressful.

Preventing Road Rage

Before learning how to deal with road rage, it is important to know how to prevent it. For example, it is always important to get a good night sleep before getting behind the wheel. Being tired can make you more prone to intense feelings of irritability and anger. It can also cause you to make mistakes. Make sure to get at least eight hours of sleep before venturing on your daily commute.

Plan Ahead

Nine times out of 10, you will experience traffic to work. Leaving your house late or “just on time” will only make matters worse, causing you to anxiously glance at the clock as you follow hundreds of other cars trying to get to work as well. It is important to plan ahead and to allot time for traffic delays and any unexpected trips, like stopping to get gas. If you are on a time crunch to get to where you need to be, you may get impatient and direct your anger at every driver who is calmly following the speed limit.

Reduce Stress

If you are feeling a bit anxious behind the wheel, take it upon yourself to reduce your stress and prevent road rage. Focus on your breathing and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. The tension you experience while driving may cause you to hold your breath for too long or experience shallow breathing. It is also recommended to play music or listen to a podcast that will stimulate your mind, keep you relaxed and put you in a positive mood. Studies have shown that listening to music, like classical music, can lower your blood pressure, slow your pulse and heart rate and ultimately reduce stress. Music will also help you pass time while stuck in traffic.

Practice Safe And Courteous Driving

The best way to prevent a road rage incident is to practice safe and defensive driving techniques. Expect drivers to make mistakes and be prepared to react by planning ahead for the unexpected. This includes:

  • Keeping a safe distance from the car in front of you.
  • Being alert and avoiding distractions, such as texting and driving.
  • Not expecting other drivers to do what you think they will do (Like making a turn when their indicators are on).
  • Being aware of the road and weather conditions.

Additionally, you should always be a courteous and understanding driver when sharing the road with others. This means refraining from tailgating and allowing someone to merge in your lane. Driving too close to another vehicle is not only dangerous, but it can make the driver in front of you anxious.

Diffusing Road Rage

Although there are laws and regulations to keep drivers safe, reckless driving occurs on all state roads and highways. It is important for drivers to remain calm and collected when faced with dangerous situations due to the recklessness or mistakes made by other drivers. A road rage incident can escalate quickly and drivers may react dangerously out of anger. When experiencing a feeling of rage while driving or when coming bumper to bumper with an equally upset driver, it is important to remember the following tips to prevent an unnecessary incident from occurring.

Protect Yourself

It is very important to protect yourself when dealing with an aggressive driver. You never know what people are capable of, especially in the heat of the moment. If you ever get in a verbal altercation with an angry driver, make sure to lock your doors and calmly drive away. If the driver begins to follow you, do not stop your car. Keep driving and dial 911 to report the incident or go to your nearest police station.

Control Your Anger

No matter what the other driver did to make you upset, succumbing to your road rage will only make the situation much worse. Refrain from becoming hostile and making rude gestures, verbal insults and threats. Never get out of your car to physically confront the driver and do not follow his or her vehicle. Additionally, you may be tempted to drive unsafely on purpose to further upset the other driver.

However, this can put yourself and other drivers on the road at risk of a serious car accident. You may also get pulled over for breaking traffic laws. If you become impatient while waiting in traffic, try not to honk your horn as a way to release your frustrations. Your horn is meant to prevent dangerous situations from occurring, like someone steering into your lane.

Learn to Recover Quickly

If you do let road rage get a hold of you, it is important to recover quickly. Driving while angry may cause you to drive more aggressively which can be very dangerous. Have you ever heard the phrase “when it rains, it pours”? Remaining angry while driving is similar to this phrase. The angrier you become, the more likely bad things will happen. Once you let one event control your emotions, everything else will affect you 10 times more. Another driver’s reckless driving has nothing to do with you, so do not take it personally. Remind yourself that it is not big deal and that you probably will never see the person who cut you off ever again.