One of the biggest causes of car accidents is road rage. It can lead you into making all sorts of irrational decisions which you wouldn’t normally make. It can also make other road users into your competitors instead of working alongside one another to prevent accidents. In fact, it has been estimated that overly aggressive driving accounts for one-third of traffic accidents out on the roads. So, if you feel like it is time to deal with your road rage problem, this article will aim to give you a bit of advice that helps you to be a little calmer.
Get Enough Sleep
Many accidents occur during rush hour in the morning as people are trying to get into work. One of the factors which is contributing towards this is tiredness, so make sure that you are getting the eight hours of sleep that you need on a nightly basis. Feelings of annoyance, resentment, and anger are much more likely when you are tired. Another major cause of car accidents is falling asleep at the wheel, so this gives you another reason why you should get your shut-eye before driving.
When you are in a rush to get somewhere, you are much more likely to become frustrated with other road users. Not only this, you are likely to end up driving faster than you need to. Add at least a few minutes onto your expected journey time and you can feel a little calmer. You can also get some traffic updates before your head out so that you know whether or not you need to add even more time. And you should also check the route so that you are less likely to get lost and add to your feelings of tension and anxiety.
Turn Down the Music
The type of music that you listen to has been shown to impact your driving habits. So, if you are a regular listener of heavy dance music, rock or something similar, it may be time to switch to something a little more calming. Classical jazz is a genre that has been shown to reduce stress, so this is one that you could try out. Otherwise, you could try listening to something a little more intellectually stimulating like an audiobook or podcast.
Give Yourself a Break
If you are on a long road trip, it is important that you take the time to give yourself a break. Ideally, you should be able to stretch your legs and get a bit of fresh air. If you are cooped up in your car for hours on end because of a traffic jam, you can at least roll the window down to get the breeze on your face. If you feel like someone has wronged you on the road, try some breathing exercises to calm down again.
Don’t Take it Personally
The problem with many people who suffer from road rage is that they take every single negative thing that happens on the road as a personal attack. It could be a simple mistake in cutting you off or causing you to have to break suddenly. If you take to get your revenge on the other road user, this is only likely to result in further problems and nobody is going to end up as the ‘winner’. If you do find yourself in an accident, you could visit this website. Remember, you can’t control what other road users are doing; you can only manage yourself.
Tailgating is a bad habit which is ultimately not going to get you to your destination a huge amount quicker. Not only this, you are putting yourself at the mercy of the car directly in front of you. If they suddenly slam on the brakes, you have almost no time to stop yourself ploughing into the back of them. And when it comes to claiming on insurance, this is going to go down as your fault. So, make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination to reduce the temptation to drive in a dangerous manner to arrive on time.
Relax Your Grip and Use Cruise Control
When you are feeling stressed out about driving or in a rush, you tend to grip the steering wheel too tightly. In turn, this can make you feel even more stressed and anxious. Wiggle your fingers from time to time and try to practice a more relaxed grip to alleviate this problem. If your vehicle has cruise control and the conditions allow you to use it. This can end up being a great way to give your right leg a break and, in turn, bring a sense of calm to your whole body.
Keep Your Car Clean and Tidy
Whether you are aware of it or not, clutter can end up adding to your feelings of stress. So, make sure that you take the time to get rid of any debris which is inside your car. You should also make sure that you keep the exterior of the car clean, and, in particular, the windshield. Poor visibility can lead you getting into dangerous situations on the road and this isn’t going to do your road rage any good whatsoever.
Spend Less Time on the Road
You can’t get road rage when you are not driving! So, you should aim to reduce your time on the road where possible. Perhaps you could walk or cycle more often and only use the car for long journeys. Maybe you could spend less time commuting by working from home more often. Ultimately, if you know that you have a problem, practicing avoidance may be your best course of action.
So, there we have just a few of the ways that you reduce feelings of road rage. Since you can’t control the driving habits of other people, it all comes back to you. But managing your feelings of stress to make yourself a better driver is certainly something which is worth doing.
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