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Roadsense: How To Manage Road Rage

Road rage is aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour performed deliberately to disregard the safety of others along with the intention of endangering others. To avoid driving under the influence of impaired emotions, these are a few tips to help keep road rage at bay.

Tip #1: Plan A Route Ahead Of Time

Frustration often arises from the inability to arrive at your desired destination in a timely manner. To avoid higher levels of stress on the road, gauge the expected duration of your trip, then give a reasonable time buffer on top, to ensure you are on schedule and in a relaxed state of mind.

Tip #2: Keep Your Driving Environment Calm

Creating a pleasant driving environment will not only help you remain calm throughout your commute but also aid you in ignoring the road rage of others. Listening to either audiobooks or music in the background can positively impact your mood, which could even make your drive enjoyable enough that you find annoying drivers and bumper-to-bumper traffic less frustrating.

However, if you are under the influence of impaired emotions, find a safe location to pull over and park, then get out of the car and walk around for a few minutes until you have simmered down. Try to avoid aggressive thoughts and concentrate on something neutral instead. The more you focus on a trigger, the more likely you will make yourself even angrier.

Tip #3: Lay Off The Horn

Horns are not an anger management tool. Excessively honking out of frustration won’t alleviate the traffic congestion, it will only heighten the stress level for those on the road, causing a potential increase in aggressive driving. Your horn should only be used during emergencies to alert other drivers on the road of any impending dangers or impediments to driver safety.

Tip #4: Focus On The Traffic Instead Of Drivers

If a certain driver has pushed your buttons, you may be overcome by the desire to let them know how angry you are by expressing various disapproving hand and face gestures! However, every second your eyes are on another driver is a moment that your eyes are off of the road and off the traffic. Instead, concentrate on the other vehicle and its signals, and try to anticipate upcoming manoeuvres, rather than pursuing the driver to let them know how cheesed off you are with their driving style.

Tip #5: Don’t Hesitate To Report Aggressive Drivers To The Authorities

Stay away from drivers with poor driving etiquette. Don’t honk, glare or stare at them as retaliating will fuel the fire. Instead, put distance between yourself and that driver. If he or she becomes truly threatening, drive to a crowded public place or file a report at a police station.

By being a courteous and defensive driver, you can cut down the level of frustration you might cause other drivers, doing your part in keeping road rage at bay. Remember, you might not be able to control the behaviour of other drivers, but you can control your reaction towards them.

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