Road Rage: 5 Ways to Avoid Losing Control
In a world where mobile phones and CCTV recording systems have become prevalent, we now have better insight on the many different aspects of human nature in ways never seen before. Take the issue of road rage, for example. It seems that every week, there’s a new video about furious drivers butting heads getting posted on social media. And as you very well know, even the most minor of altercations can turn fatal if people let their anger get into their heads.
Anything can be dangerous once you’re under the influence of rage, and intense anger can be an overwhelming emotion that makes people commit acts they would soon regret. That’s why it’s important to keep your cool at all times when you’re driving. You can’t control how other people drive, but you can control how you respond to difficult situations. When all is said and done, taking control of your emotions is the best way to arrive safely and stress-free at your desired destination.
Practice safe and considerate driving, no matter how other drivers are behaving. Always drive with safety in mind, and avoid maneuvers that frustrate you when other drivers do them, including tailgating, weaving in and out of lanes, cutting in line, not using turn signals, etc.
Use your horn for emergencies only
If you must use your horn to alert other drivers of your presence, then by all means, use it. However, if you’re just using your horn to make noise and show drivers and pedestrians that you’re annoyed, quit it. Noise won’t convince traffic to move any faster. On the contrary, you’ll only be inviting trouble. You’ll be better served by keeping your hands on the wheel or gear shift and laying off the horn.
Focus on traffic and not drivers
If someone starts to get on your nerves, you may be tempted to reciprocate the negativity. Remember that every second you spend focusing on another driver is a moment you don’t have your mind on the road. So if you see someone driving angry, move your thoughts away from the situation as soon as possible. There won’t be a fight if you refuse to let the situation escalate.
Adjust your commute
It’s easy to lose your cool over the littlest things if you’re running late. If you find that you’re mostly angry because of traffic delays, perhaps you should give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Consider the average duration of your trip then allow for an extra ten to twenty minutes on top to ensure you arrive on schedule and in a relaxed state of mind.
If you find a driver tailing you after an altercation, don’t get out of your vehicle, and don’t head home. The driver may be looking for a confrontation. Instead, head to a safe area with plenty of people and possibly a police or fire station nearby. If the other driver is blocking your car and preventing you from leaving, stay inside your car and contact the police for assistance.
There will always be an unruly driver out there, and while the tips listed here won’t make the roads any friendlier, it can help to practice a calmer and safer frame of mind while driving. And when you find that you can’t simply let go of your anger, find a constructive way to vent it out, like talking about it with your spouse, a friend, or even a therapist or head of your spiritual community. Sharing your bad experience honestly and actively and can be a great way to make yourself feel better and see the brighter side of the situation.