Resisting Road Rage

If you spend a significant amount of time on the road there’s a chance you have experienced or witnessed road rage. We’ve all been there whether we want to admit it or not. Someone cuts you off, they’re tailgating you, honking at you… it happens. According to the Department of Transportation, “An act of road rage, as it is typically defined, is committed with the intent of causing physical harm to another road user, whereas an act of aggressive driving is committed with disregard for safety but not necessarily with intent to cause physical harm.”

With this current winter season, “snow rage,” is a stress-driven epidemic that impacts the country due to the cold and snowy weather. Sometimes road rage can involve physical violence as well, which you want to avoid at all costs. Luckily, there are ways to resist road rage while driving. Applying these steps to your driving can decrease the likelihood of the green monster coming out!

Why Are You Mad?

Many times, anger stems from running late, which causes increased stress and can lead drivers to forget key safety measures on the road. In this situation, drivers operating at a reduced speed become targets for your frustration. Commuters, construction/emergency vehicles and other truck drivers may all be on this list, but is it their fault that you’re in a hurry? Of course not. In addition, they may have a very good reason for driving slow. For example, a driver may have a heavy, high-value load or a family may be driving with a special needs child. Always give the benefit of the doubt and call your dispatcher to report any delays… they happen.

Analyze Your Mood Before Driving:

If you are leaving work or home in an unpleasant, angry, or sad mood, this can impact your driving. Be sure to take a moment to calm yourself before getting in your vehicle. If you’re driving while in an angry mood, the smallest thing can trigger road rage. The easiest way to avoid road rage is to wait until you are calm, well-rested, and fed before driving.

Remain Calm:

There’s no need to get angry and upset at other drivers on the road. Everyone is just trying to reach their destination and no load is worth sacrificing your safety on the road. If you become upset or angry while behind the wheel, pull over if needed. Consider these steps:

  • Taking a short walk
  • Meditation
  • Listening to music

Drive Defensively:

If another driver on the road is behaving aggressively, follow these steps:

  • If the aggressive driver wants to pass you, allow them to do so
  • If someone wants to merge into your lane, let them
  • Avoid braking at the last minute to avoid an accident from occurring
  • Don’t tailgate
  • Don’t block traffic, this may lead to drivers becoming upset and angry with you

Give Other Drivers the Benefit of the Doubt:

Be sure to always be alert at the wheel. When another driver switches lanes without signaling, cuts you off, or swerves into the lanes, you may think that they are engaging in aggressive behavior and are doing this on purpose. On the other hand, maybe that driver was not alert at the wheel. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Other drivers make mistake when on the road and not every driver is perfect
  • Staying alert at the wheel gives you more time to react if a driver unexpectedly cuts you off or merges into your lane without signaling, etc.

Give Yourself Enough Time:

Don’t speed if you’re in a rush. Be sure to take time on the road to get to your destination. Speeding can result in a ticket and an accident. So give yourself enough time when on the road in order to resist road rage if you’re running late.

How do you control your road rage? Let us know in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading!

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