Dealing With Road Rage


  Do you often find yourself yelling at other road users while you’re driving, even though what they did may not have directly affected you? Are you judgmental to others’ driving, walking or cycling choices? Do you punish other drivers by driving somewhat aggressively toward them or by honking long and loud after they’ve made a mistake? These are all signs you’re on track to becoming a road rager. Now is the time to put a stop to it before it’s too late.

    Once you’re feeling the anger or rage behind the wheel, common sense will never happen. One way to remain calm while driving is to avoid taking the actions of other drivers personally. There are numerous reasons why people drive the way they do. Sometimes people are simply poorly-trained drivers. Often people are distracted. Other times subpar driving could be the result of inclement weather or inferior road conditions. Sometimes people simply make mistakes.

   Also, never retaliate against a road rager. Drivers have been seriously injured or killed as the result of road rage. You’re just as guilty as they are if you act like them. Many road ragers receive criminal charges, regardless of who started the incident. If someone is raging toward you for whatever reason, avoid making eye contact with them and refrain from engaging in dialogue with them. Not observing this advice may fuel even more rage. Ignore road ragers and stay focused on the important task of driving. Getting entangled with a road rager may also serve as a distraction to you, which could lead to other serious driving issues, such as collisions, and serious injuries and/or fatalities.

  Okay, so let’s say you’re having a bad moment or bad day. Anything that happens that remotely affects you, you seem to take it the wrong way, including while driving. A lot of us have been there. Here’s what you can do to reduce or eliminate road raging. If you’ve had a bad day, while parked, put on your favorite music. Then head off down the road. Another useful technique is to close your eyes for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths. This will slow down your heart rate and put you in a more relaxed mood. Then start the vehicle and head off to your destination. If the cause of your stress is at home or work, do your best to leave it there as you get into your vehicle. Leaving those problems where they originated will assist you in remaining calm while behind the wheel. It’s always a good idea to take a few moments before you begin to drive if you’re feeling angry, annoyed or grumpy so you can ease tension and clear your mind of those issues.

   We’re all entitled to get annoyed, even angry at times. It’s time to pick your battles and make a clear choice of when and where it’s okay to allow these emotions to manifest themselves. If your mind is wrapped up in anger, give yourself a few extra moments before driving away. Driving is typically the most dangerous thing each of us does and we do it often, if not every day. Give yourself and those around you the best chance at staying safe. Manage your emotions. There’s too much at stake not to.