Everyone gets frustrated from time to time, but if you’re behind the wheel when anger hits, the situation could become quite dangerous. Road rage is a serious issue, taking the lives of many each year. If you have an issue with finding yourself enraged while driving, there are some things you can do to calm the fire.
One of the best ways to avoid road rage is by leaving early for your destination. Road rage often begins with the driver running late for an appointment or other important event. If you start early, you don’t have to worry about being late if other drivers on the road are too slow, getting in your way, or otherwise impeding your ability to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time. This might mean you have to set the alarm an hour earlier in the morning, or you might need to cut something out of your morning routine so you can leave with plenty of time.
Slow Down and Cool Off
This doesn’t mean you should literally slow your car down if you’re feeling anxious or frustrated, but you should mentally slow down. Often, when road rage occurs, it’s because the driver’s thoughts take off in a million different directions. He or she starts to imagine problems that are going to happen and consequences that will be the result. Instead, take some slow breaths and repeat a calming mantra to yourself. If you start to really get upset, pull over and cool off for a while before getting back on the road.
If another driver cuts you off, show compassion instead of anger. Smile and wave, letting the other driver know you’re fine and the situation is OK. If someone speeds past you, consider his or her situation as an emergency and allow the driver to pass you without honking or chasing them. If someone is driving slowly, avoid the temptation to tail the car.
Stay Away from Aggression
If other drivers are acting aggressive, you should safely change lanes, slow down, or leave the roadway so you can avoid getting involved in the aggression. Don’t ever reciprocate these negative actions, as it could lead to a dangerous or deadly result. If the other driver wants you to pull over to settle the situation face to face, never do so. If you’re at a light or a stop sign and it’s unsafe to drive away, you might need to call the police.
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