- Car Safety & Safe Driving
How to Control Road Rage and Drive Safely
What is Road Rage
Whether anyone likes it or not, most drivers have reacted against another driver in some shape or form. It could be as simple as giving a short tap on the horn or as aggressive as winding down the window and yelling at the other driver. Road rage have seen a climbing trend worldwide, in the United States alone, more than 250 cases of road rage each year have led to aggravated injuries, some even leading to death. Road rage is primarily caused by impatience towards another driver and in some instances; road rage can be caused by a driver that is overcome with personal problems.
Try to understand the other driver
Like all forms or rage and pent up feelings of anger and hostility, the good thing is; road rage can be controlled. Even though releasing pent up anger towards another person who will not retaliate will give you a form of release, keeping your calm can result in a complete feeling of peace at the end of the day, knowing you allowed cooler heads to prevail. To help you control road rage, these ten steps will hopefully lead you towards a better overall driving experience and a happier road user:
Control your breathing
In a moment of adrenaline-filled anger frenzy, you will tend to react according to your emotions and not think clearly. It is crucial to get a grip of yourself and start monitoring your breathing. Taking in multiple deep breaths, holding it for a few seconds and breathing out slowly is a good tip to follow. After your deep breathing, you will notice that your angry reaction was unnecessary and can be easily avoided.
Avoid eye contact and speak calmly
At times, you will be the victim of a road rage. Getting angry towards the other driver will only aggravate matters. It could result to fights that may lead to physical injuries. If you are honked or cursed at, even if it was not your fault, try to avoid eye contact at all costs and just wave a hand to show you are apologetic. If the driver gets out of their car and tries to talk to you, lock your doors and try to speak calmly through your window.
Be nice and courteous
Drivers are constantly taught to be courteous and nice during their formative months or years in driving school but most of the lessons get figuratively thrown out of the window. Waving a hand as an appreciative or apologetic gesture can make someone’s day. Smiling, giving an appreciative nod or giving someone the “thumbs up” sign can also ease road rage. Winking at a woman when her boyfriend or husband is beside her is a huge no-no though.
Do not be a vigilante
You are not a traffic police officer. It is not your job to punish others when someone makes a mistake or if they are driving poorly. They could be a new driver or unfamiliar with the location. Cutting them off, tailgating them or gesturing them negatively are just a few instances of how road rage begins. If someone makes a mistake, forgive them and if necessary, overtake them and forget.
People make mistakes, even you. So before you go ballistic, try to think of your driving faults as well and maintain your composure. Reacting blatantly will only cause you excessive stress and ruin your mood for the whole day.
Russian Road Rage
Listen to the proper music
It is no secret that high tempo and high bass music will only get you worked up. It is why action movies with car chases in them are full of quick tempo music. Listening to these type of music will only make you drive faster and put other road users at risk. Statistics show that young drivers who were arrested over road rage were mostly listening to music high in bass and quick in pace. Tone down your music and pick out a soothing radio station.
The car is not a therapist
Having a bad day will not go away if you drive your car faster, more aggressively and if you are being a jerk to other road users. Taking out other road users with road rage will not solve any problems at work or at home. Always keep in mind; the car is only your mode of transportation, not something you can take out your feelings to.
It is a well known fact; people get really cranky when they lack sleep. To prevent road rage, get enough shut eye and rest. Lack of sleep contributes even more on the road where impatience, anger and annoyance are at every corner. The recommended amount of sleep is eight hours. Coffee does not compensate lack of sleep.
Stop and take a breather
If another driver has left you fuming in rage, the most sensible thing to do would be to pull over to the side of the road and compose yourself. Do not allow your mind to dwell on the actions of the other driver and focus on where you are heading to. Remember to breathe and if you have a bottle of water with you, take a sip or two to calm yourself down.
Even though road rage is increasingly around the world, it is controllable so always ensure that you do not get carried away by your anger when you are driving. Concentrate on the road and where you are going, always!