Most of us experience road rage from time to time, but it’s important to remain focused. Here’s how to stay calm…
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
A sure way to lose your cool behind the wheel is to find yourself running late. You’ll find slower drivers, traffic and red lights increasingly frustrating and this can lead to feelings of road rage. Plan your journey in advance and give yourself plenty of time.
Don’t Compete with Other Drivers
Some drivers are naturally aggressive and competitive when they’re on the road network. This kind of attitude can be intimidating and dangerous. When you encounter them, avoid the urge to compete with them. Don’t try to get ahead of them or to race. Keep your eye on them and carry on driving smoothly. If they’re tailgating, move out of their way when it’s safe to do so.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Rest
Most of us are cranky when we’re tired or fatigued. When we’re driving, not having had enough sleep can cause us to become impatient and irritable. In which case, try to get a good night’s sleep before driving – especially if you’re setting out on a long journey.
Don’t Take Things Personally
Every driver, at some stage or another, will encounter unpleasant motorists. They might tailgate you, beep at you or cut you up when changing lanes. It’s unfortunate, but inevitable. Just remember, they don’t know you. If you weren’t ahead of them, or next to them, they’d be harassing someone else. Take a deep breath, and don’t take them too seriously.
Try to Take Plenty of Breaks
Driving can be monotonous and tiring, which in turn can cause us to become impatient, irritable and generally moody. This is especially the case on long and laborious journeys. In which case, taking regular breaks (say, once every two hours) can help freshen things up and improve your mood.
A bit of road rage can very quickly escalate into a serious confrontation. Indeed, there are genuine horror stories of motorists finding themselves in serious and dangerous encounters, seemingly over nothing. You don’t know who’s in the car that just cut you up, you don’t know how they’ll respond to a rude hand gesture or an expletive. Don’t endanger yourself and others, avoid escalation on the roads.
How you drive can have an impact on your state of mind. If you keep your driving smooth and considered, it’ll help you maintain your focus and composure. Avoid needless acceleration, obey speed limits and approach manoeuvres gently.
Think About Your Music (Seriously)
Studies suggest that the music we listen to in the car can actually affect how we drive. Fast-paced and loud music can make us more aggressive and less risk-averse. Conversely, gentler and slower music can help us keeps things smooth. In which case, if you’re quick to lose your temper, consider a new playlist.
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