Aggressive behavior by other drivers, hectic commutes, and personal stress may all contribute to hazardous driving scenarios. However, you do not have to allow your emotions to develop into aggressive driving behavior in order to avoid getting involved in one of the 5 million expensive car accidents that occur each year in the United States. AA has published a great article about anger management and how to prevent road rage.
Keep these easy ideas in mind to stay cool, drive safely, and avoid letting road rage spoil your day.
5 Easy Tips for Calming Road Rage and Achieving Driving Bliss
1. Allow for sufficient time and preparation for your drive.
Safe driving begins with a good night’s sleep the night before. Not only can driving when sleepy be as hazardous as driving while intoxicated, but it also results in raw nerves that flare up rapidly on the road.
Always bear in mind:
- 24 hours awake is equivalent to being legally intoxicated – The Sleep Foundation
- Drowsy driving is responsible for at least 72,000 accidents each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- It’s also critical to refuel – and we’re not just talking about the vehicle.
Breakfasting in a vehicle is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Eating while driving is a lethal distraction. Purchase an automated coffee maker with a timer and utilize the 15 minutes required for the caffeine to set in to prepare your GPS and complete your trip. If you don’t have time to make your morning cup of coffee, skip the drive-thru and get to your destination first.
When you eat and drive, your chances of being involved in an accident increase by 80 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the NHTSA, drivers who consume alcohol are 18% more likely to have poor lane control.
When you’re in a vehicle, your whole attention should be on the road. Make preparations in advance to prevent text messages, address mapping, and fussing with the entertainment console.
Additionally, it is a good idea to note the speed restrictions along your journey. Speeding is the second biggest cause of deaths, after drunk driving. Establish realistic expectations for your travel time, plan ahead, and budget an additional ten minutes to set the tone for a calm, anger-free drive.
2. Be Your Neighbor’s Best Friend
The Golden Rule sets the bar for safe driving. Give the motorist the benefit of the doubt if he or she abruptly changes lanes. Take a few deep, calm breaths when you are agitated. Your everyday commute is an excellent opportunity to learn patience and reconnect with your inner Zen.
Maintain proper etiquette, even if other drivers do not:
- There will be no tailgating.
- Give way to the right-of-way. Merging is more akin to a zipper than a speedway. Failure to yield is a leading cause of accidents.
- Allow the left lane to be used only for passing.
- Observe all traffic signs and regulations, as well as pedestrians and other drivers.
- Utilize turn signals and allow others to enter.
- Be forgiving and patient.
Be courteous. Take turns on the road. When you are in the wrong, apologize. A simple grin and a wave of the hand may go a long way toward disarming potential tension. Do not use offensive languages including gestures.
3. Recognize Your Calm Zone
According to research, listening to certain kinds of music or conversational noises may help alleviate tension, boredom, and worry, all of which contribute to impatience. Certain types of background noise have even been proven to improve concentration. Music, on the other hand, may be a hazardous distraction.
Additionally, loud music may raise your risk of being involved in an accident. Music at 95 dB or above results in a 20% reduction in response time. Bear in mind that your goal is to avoid and calm road rage, not to provoke it.
Maintain a low to moderate volume level for the audio and passengers. Podcasts and audiobooks are great ways to kill time without exacerbating road rage.Alternatively, select calming ambient or downbeat music, such as softer jazz, rock, or classical. Natural sounds or music that incorporates natural sounds have been shown to enhance concentration without being distracting.
Certain fragrances have a soothing impact on the brain and improve concentration. Rejuvenate your drive with lotions, aromatic oils, or air fresheners that stimulate your senses. Several soothing fragrances to try include the following:
- Lavender promotes healthy relaxation, alleviates tension and anxiety, and revitalizes concentration.
- Citrus increases alertness and promotes pleasant, stress-relieving emotions.
- Peppermint or cinnamon alleviates irritation and increases driver alertness without the crazy side effects associated with coffee.
- Fresh grass heightens one’s sense of pleasure and calms the mind.
- Vanilla produces calm, pleasant sensations of happiness, elevating the mood and making it easier to smile away from anger.
4. Allow Others to Live (and Leave the Left Lane)
You are the sovereign of your own serenity. You are not the highway’s defender. Avoid hovering in the quickest lane or obstructing traffic because you believe your job is to exceed the speed limit-and to guarantee that everyone else does as well. Not only is slowing traffic rude, but it often results in accidents as other cars weave to avoid you. More governments are enforcing stricter penalties against left lane offenders who clog traffic.
True, tailgaters are the highway’s petty tyrants. Fortunately, just avoiding their path keeps them out of your car. Allow aggressive drivers to sprint ahead alone, and the issue of their aggressiveness will resolve itself in a few long breaths.
5. Enroll in a Defensive Driving Course – But Not to Increase Your Speed!
Prepare for inclement weather, other drivers, and unexpected driving scenarios. A driver’s safety course or defensive driving lesson is a simple way to develop the ability to anticipate and safely respond to potential problems. Taking an online course may also result in financial savings via lower insurance prices and traffic fines.
Remember, in order to calm road anger and arrive at work happy, you must drive carefully and attempt to calm others’ road rage by not becoming an angry driver. Allow others to live. And arrive at your destination safely.