There’s something freeing about driving on the open road – until you meet other drivers. Someone cuts you off at a light or pulls out right in front of you as you’re crossing an intersection, giving you road rage
There are plenty of rude, inexperienced and poor drivers out there. The problem only seems to be getting worse now that people are distracted by their phones while driving. You may be tempted to teach these drivers a lesson or let your anger consume you, but giving in to your emotions will only lead to more problems.
“Drivers exhibiting road rage put themselves, other drivers, and passengers at risk of injury or even death in some cases, which makes this behavior one of the biggest threats to traffic safety,” says Gassman Legal, P.C.
Here are six ways to stay calm while driving and avoid giving into road rage.
Someone cut you off and almost caused an accident. You throw your hands up, and you’re thinking about getting out of your car to give the other driver a piece of your mind. Don’t.
When other drivers make you angry, take a deep breath and try to stay calm. The last thing you should do is act on your anger. You could be putting your life at risk.
2. Don’t Drive When You’re Under Emotional Distress
If you’re already angry or upset about something going on in your life – a death, break-up, job loss, etc. – you’re far more likely to lose it over another driver’s poor judgement.
Take some time to cool off and calm down before getting behind the wheel. If you have to get to work, try to arrange for transportation.
3. Expect the Worst
Expect drivers to make mistakes, and you won’t be surprised or upset when they do. Remember that drivers are only human, and humans tend to make poor decisions.
4. Don’t Add Fuel to the Fire
If you encounter another angry driver, don’t escalate the situation by preventing them from merging into the lane or passing you on the highway. Taking this approach will put your life at risk. Give them plenty of room to pass and get on their way. Don’t let their anger affect your mood or judgements.
5. Be Predictable
Be a predictable driver. Check your blind spots, and don’t forget to use your signals when changing lanes or making turns. If you follow the rules and practice safe driving habits, you won’t be the cause of someone else’s road rage. While unpredictable things can happen on the road, being a considerate driver can go a long way in making the road a more pleasant place.
6. Use Traffic Jams as a Chance to Relax
If your commute is really busy and you often find yourself stuck in traffic jams, don’t get angry. Use this opportunity to relax and unwind. Listen to music or an audiobook. If you’re going to be late, then you’re going to be late. You can’t make the traffic move any faster, and getting angry or making obscene gestures won’t move things along.