5 ways to avoid road rage
Driving can be a dangerous game, especially under the influence of rage.
In times of high stress, our emotions can overwhelm us and influence how we behave. Things may get ugly if you let your feelings of anger and frustration take over whilst controlling a few tons of steel at high speed.
These days, road rage is a major safety concern; angry driving is dangerous driving! Stay cool and you’ll have a better chance of keeping your car and other motorists in good stead, and arriving safely at your desired destination.
Here are a few tips to help keep road rage at bay.
If you find yourself in heavy traffic, refrain from doing anything aggressive that can get you in trouble.
Keep your speed down, make sure you have plenty of room for lane changes and let people pass when they clearly wish to get in front of you.
It can be frustrating and difficult to not make that aggressive move to get you where you want to go. In that moment, remind yourself that it’s for your own safety and the safety of others.
It isn’t worth causing an accident or serious injury, just to prove you’re right.
And isn’t it nice when other drivers drive carefully and consistently and behave considerately? Aim to be one of those courteous drivers!
Lay off the horn
Your vehicle’s horn is there for emergencies, not just for making noise!
If you need to use the horn to signal your presence, then by all means use it. However, if you’re just using your horn to ‘yell’ at someone to get out of the way, try to channel some patience and refrain from aggressively honking your horn.
Noise doesn’t make traffic move any faster. Your hands are more useful on the wheel or the gear stick rather than unnecessarily alarming other motorists in charged traffic conditions.
Focus on traffic instead of drivers
If a certain motorist is pushing your road rage buttons, you may be overcome by the desire to let them know how angry you are by expressing various disapproving hand and face gestures!
Remember, every second your eyes are on another driver is a moment that your eyes are off of the road and off the traffic.
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.
Give yourself time
If you’re running late, you’ll be more likely to suffer road rage at the simplest incidence of annoyance.
The pressure of getting to work or school on time can stress us out when behind the wheel.
To avoid higher levels of stress on the roads, give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.
Think about the expected duration of your trip and then allow an extra ten minutes on top, to ensure you arrive on time and in a relaxed state of mind.
A reasonable time buffer can be all you need to prevent road rage.
Don’t do anything to other motorists that would give you road rage
You can probably think of a handful of driving manoeuvres that consistently give you road rage when other motorists perform them.
Tailgating, brake overuse and failure to signal are typical moves that provoke road rage. Put these on your list of things to avoid doing yourself!
It’s the golden rule of road rage. Follow this rule and you’ll be one less person on the road making the annoying moves that get your blood boiling.
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Eric is a US writer residing in Wisconsin that specialises in automotive news and car culture.
With a versatile writing style and an interest in high-performance cars, Eric has been fortunate enough to review cars like the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro even an Autocycle - it’s not quite a car, but also not quite a motorcycle…