Because road rage is becoming more common in a fast-paced and crowded world, follow these driving safety tips to help you keep your cool even when others are not.
Keep Safety Your Priority
Arriving safely at your destination is more important than getting back at the person who is tailgating you or who is driving slow while texting on a phone. Remember that it is the police’s responsibility to crack down on irresponsible drivers; your responsibility is to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
Leave Yourself Plenty of Time
Drivers are more likely to get angry when they are running late. Give yourself an extra ten minutes to arrive at your destination, so you don’t feel rushed.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Try to enjoy the time you spend in the car. Listen to music that helps calm your nerves. For some people that may mean classical, for others country and for others alternative rock.
Keep Entertained in Traffic
Getting stuck in traffic can be so frustrating as you watch the clock tick away and waste valuable time. Make the most of these moments in the car by listening to audio books or educational material, many of which can be downloaded for free from the Itunes store. However, surfing the web on your phone or reading a book is not safe; refrain from any activity that takes your eyes off the road.
Ignore Bad Drivers
Although it is easier said than done, try to ignore the bad or angry drivers on the road. If someone is upset with something you’ve done, refrain from making eye contact with them.
Braking quickly to upset the tailgating driver might make you feel better, but it could lead to an accident. Think logically, not emotionally, while driving. Infuriated by a slow driver in front of you? First, check the speed limit. Maybe you are speeding, which will make their slower speed seem unreasonable. If they are considerably under the speed limit, remember that the slow driver in front of you may be a teenager or someone from out of town who isn’t familiar with the area. Tailgating them will most likely make them drive slower and less safe, as they become more nervous.
When you do find yourself stuck in a situation that is causing you to fret and fume, try to focus on your breathing to distract and calm yourself. Purposefully slow your breathing, inhaling fully until your stomach and chest expands, and exhaling fully. This should help slow your heart rate and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Don’t Take it Personal
If someone else unleashes their road rage on you, try not to escalate the situation by responding in turn. Remember that the raging person doesn’t know you personally and may be letting off pent-up steam from days or even years of stressful driving situations. Try to let it go and keep your focus on what is the most important- the road!
Remember that a calm driver is a safe driver!