Keep Your Cool! | The Best Ways To Avoid Road Rage

Keep Your Cool! | The Best Ways To Avoid Road Rage

If you've spent any substantial time on the roads, the odds are extraordinarily likely that you have encountered road rage. Amazingly, for 78 percent of us, according to a 2014 study by AAA, we were the aggressors in the aforementioned road rage. (1) I say "we" because I, too, have found myself fuming behind the wheel of a car, convinced I was the victim and determined to let the proclaimed idiot in the other vehicle know I was angry. For those of you that are in the 22 percent that have always managed to keep your cool, the odds are high that you've been on the receiving end of aggressive driving.

As our roads continue to get busier, the triggers that bring us to a boil are unlikely to reduce in frequency. As someone that has let it affect my day too often in the past, I decided a few years back to make a conscious effort to try and find strategies to avoid or otherwise cope with it. Living in Southern California, I can say it didn't take long before I had plenty of practice. I am happy to report that road rage is virtually non-existent in my life these days, thanks in large part to the strategies I outlined below.

Do Your Research

One of the most helpful tactics I have used is that I will do my research well in advance of any commute of more than 15 minutes or that I am not already familiar with. Apps like Waze not only provide relatively accurate drive times that incorporate traffic but allow you to look ahead well in advance. By using this feature and giving myself plenty of time in my schedule, I avoid being in a rush while I am driving. I've noticed that if I need to get somewhere fast is often why I find myself frustrated. Committing to avoid that feeling and budgeting enough time has been game-changing.

Keep Yourself Engaged

The monotony of freeway miles often used to bore me to the point of frustration. Even if I was driving to something more exciting, sitting in traffic to get there at a snail's pace left me primed and ready to get frustrated. By utilizing audiobooks and podcasts while driving, I keep my brain engaged, and my time doesn't feel like it's being wasted.

Know Your Preferences

We all have our own set of preferences when it comes to driving. For me, driving on the city streets is a whole lot less anxiety-producing than taking the freeways. Knowing this, I will budget an additional few minutes to avoid taking the highway for my shorter trips. Sure the gas mileage isn't as great, and I spend some extra time in the car, but by avoiding the situations that are most likely to stress me out, I set myself up for success.

Keep Tabs On Your Attitude

Perhaps the most significant change I've made to bring me back down to earth while I'm driving is that I make a conscious effort to do so and do a mental check-in every so often to ensure I'm not trending in the wrong direction. Road rage usually builds over time until it eventually comes to a boil. By catching myself getting frustrated early, before things get out of hand, I can almost always bring my thoughts back to a more rational place.

I think it's safe to say that nobody enjoys getting road rage. We all share the roads in our quest to get from point A to point B in one piece safely. Unfortunately, the opportunities for stress are high, and sometimes the frustrations of the day can make their way into how we drive. Realizing that it only takes one bad driver to affect many cars, you can see why road rage is such a common issue. By following the strategies above, you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to steer clear of road rage and arrive at your destination safely and with a cool head.

If you've spent any substantial time on the roads, the odds are extraordinarily likely that you have encountered road rage. Amazingly, for 78 percent of us, according to a 2014 study by AAA, we were the aggressors in the aforementioned road rage. (1) I say "we" because I, too, have found myself fuming behind the wheel of a car, convinced I was the victim and determined to let the proclaimed idiot in the other vehicle know I was angry. For those of you that are in the 22 percent that have always managed to keep your cool, the odds are high that you've been on the receiving end of aggressive driving.

As our roads continue to get busier, the triggers that bring us to a boil are unlikely to reduce in frequency. As someone that has let it affect my day too often in the past, I decided a few years back to make a conscious effort to try and find strategies to avoid or otherwise cope with it. Living in Southern California, I can say it didn't take long before I had plenty of practice. I am happy to report that road rage is virtually non-existent in my life these days, thanks in large part to the strategies I outlined below.

Do Your Research

One of the most helpful tactics I have used is that I will do my research well in advance of any commute of more than 15 minutes or that I am not already familiar with. Apps like Waze not only provide relatively accurate drive times that incorporate traffic but allow you to look ahead well in advance. By using this feature and giving myself plenty of time in my schedule, I avoid being in a rush while I am driving. I've noticed that if I need to get somewhere fast is often why I find myself frustrated. Committing to avoid that feeling and budgeting enough time has been game-changing.

Keep Yourself Engaged

The monotony of freeway miles often used to bore me to the point of frustration. Even if I was driving to something more exciting, sitting in traffic to get there at a snail's pace left me primed and ready to get frustrated. By utilizing audiobooks and podcasts while driving, I keep my brain engaged, and my time doesn't feel like it's being wasted. Another great option is to listen to uplifting or happy music. Everyone has a music genre or artist that brings a smile to their face; after all, music is the only thing that everyone on the planet likes in some form or another. By playing the music that makes you feel good you might be more likely to forgive the brake lights that just cut you off or the jerk that’s tailgating you.

Know Your Preferences

We all have our own set of preferences when it comes to driving. For me, driving on the city streets is a whole lot less anxiety-producing than taking the freeways. Knowing this, I will budget an additional few minutes to avoid taking the highway for my shorter trips. Sure the gas mileage isn't as great, and I spend some extra time in the car, but by avoiding the situations that are most likely to stress me out, I set myself up for success.

Keep Tabs On Your Attitude

Perhaps the most significant change I've made to bring me back down to earth while I'm driving is that I make a conscious effort to do so and do a mental check-in every so often to ensure I'm not trending in the wrong direction. Road rage usually builds over time until it eventually comes to a boil. By catching myself getting frustrated early, before things get out of hand, I can almost always bring my thoughts back to a more rational place.

I think it's safe to say that nobody enjoys getting road rage. We all share the roads in our quest to get from point A to point B in one piece safely. Unfortunately, the opportunities for stress are high, and sometimes the frustrations of the day can make their way into how we drive. Realizing that it only takes one bad driver to affect many cars, you can see why road rage is such a common issue. By following the strategies above, you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to steer clear of road rage and arrive at your destination safely and with a cool head.

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