How to Cope with Road Rage

Jan 26, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

Drivers everywhere will occasionally experience road rage. It happens to everyone at some point. Maybe you had a stressful day or didn’t get enough sleep. Or maybe you are just low on patience. Whatever the reason, giving in to road rage can be incredibly dangerous, for you and the vehicles around you. You won’t be as focused on driving and won’t make your usual careful maneuvers. Luckily, you can do a few things to cope with road rage yourself.

Analyze Your Driving Habits

It isn’t easy to do, but if you find yourself frequently suffering from road rage, you will want to try your hardest to analyze and change your driving habits. Aggressive driving usually involves gesturing to other drivers, frequently changing lanes, and in doing so quickly, flashing your headlights, using your horn, and tailgating. Some research has also shown that aggressive drivers are more likely to talk on their cell phones while driving. If you find yourself driving aggressively frequently, try to become more conscious of when you follow these habits. Then do your best to avoid the actions. If you don’t trust yourself to handle the situation yourself, ask your friends and family to point out your aggressive driving habits to you and help you out.

Try Calming Methods

Road rage typically comes down to being angry at other drivers on the road so you can attempt to learn a few calming techniques to help you avoid such an extreme response. Deep breathing, for example, can help significantly. When you take a deep breath, you will slow your heart rate and blood pressure and even reduce the amount you sweat. If someone cuts you off or does something else to trigger your road rage, breathe deeply and try to stay calm. Some people also find it helpful to keep images of loved ones nearby to relax them, or listen to soothing music.

When Others Have Road Rage

As hard as it is to cope with road rage when you are the aggressive driver, it can be even more challenging when someone else has road rage since you can’t control them. You can minimize the risk of provoking other people’s road rage by avoiding offensive hand gestures or aggressive driving maneuvers, such as sudden lane changes. Just avoiding eye contact with an aggressor can even make a difference. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to simply get away from an aggressive driver if they don’t show any signs of calming down. Take a different route or change lanes so they can go by you.

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