We talk about road rage as something that many drivers feel, and as a sign of how crazy it can get on the roads
Road rage creates unsafe drivers because angry drivers are not cautious drivers.
We talk about it… But do we spend a lot of time figuring out how to stop it? By identifying the triggers of road rage, we can help people manage it and eliminate it.
One of the places where road rage appears is in heavy traffic. Drivers want to get somewhere and they feel boxed in by heavy traffic – frequently because that traffic isn't going as fast as the driver wants. If you tend to get boxed in by traffic and feel like it's holding you back, speeding is not the answer. The answer is to take another route. Get off the road you're traveling on and find another way to go. This will help with the boxed-in feeling.
Frequent red lights are another time when road rage rears its ugly head. Drivers want to get somewhere but red lights keep them from moving forward and that's frustrating… ESPECIALLY when they hit one red light after another. If that's the case, pull off the road for a moment and calm down. Then wait for the lights to turn green. If you travel the speed limit, a series of lights will often be timed so that you can drive through several green lights at once.
Another place where road rage appears is when faced with unpredictable drivers. We have to share the road and not everyone is as skilled or courteous of a driver as you are. Unpredictable drivers – those who cut across lanes or don't signal or don't maintain a consistent speed – are dangerous to drive nearby. The best thing to do is either take another route or pull over and wait for the other driver to move on. Yes, it might cause you to stop for a moment or two but, in the long run, it's safer for everyone.
Other road rage fighting tactics
Road rage is easy to get and hard to beat, especially if you don't keep it in check once it appears. If you start to get frustrated, slow your mind down and acknowledge that road rage doesn't solve anything. It doesn't make the red light turn green any faster and it doesn't make those unpredictable drivers any safer. The only thing it does is make YOU less attentive. Other ways to fight road rage are:
- Turn down the heat
- Roll down the window
- Inhale and exhale deeply
- Turn the radio off (to minimize an unconscious distraction)
- Stop talking on your cell phone
- Slow the car down slightly
- Perhaps even pull off to the side of the road
Mastering road rage will make you a safer driver!