If your temper gets the best of you at times, here are tips for reducing road rage. As calm and easy-going as you are throughout your day, everything changes when you get behind the wheel. Yelling, cussing, and inappropriate gestures seem to be par for the course as soon as you hit a bit of traffic.
Just about everyone with a car suffers some road rage at some point in his or her life, so here are some ways to keep yourself calm and under control when you’re on the road.
1. Get plenty of sleep.
Various studies show that sleep has a significant effect on your mood. Sleep deprivation is becoming something of a national epidemic. Aside from forcing you to reach for that coffee more often, a lack of sleep causes you to become irritable, vulnerable to stress, and just downright grumpy, all of which contributes to more road rage. Eight hours is the average recommended amount of sleep for adults.
2. Be prepared.
Staying prepared and planning ahead can go a long way to allay any anger on the road. Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, taking into account traffic and detours. Prepare your clothes, lunch, and work-related stuff the night before. More time means calmer driving.
Furthermore, be prepared for any potential digressions or accidents. If you’re prone to locking your keys in your car, sign up for the auto club, have the number of your local locksmith on hand, or make sure you have your Honda key replacement within easy reach. You don’t want to get mad before you even hit road.
3. Your car is not your stress reliever.
Many people consider their vehicles extensions of their beings, but some people can take that to an irresponsible and often dangerous degree. If you’re mad because of something at work or something your partner said, don’t use driving as a way to take out your anger. Don’t try to prove yourself by driving more aggressively, speeding and weaving through cars. Your car is primarily a means of getting from point A to point B. It’s not your therapist. It’s not a form of stress relief.
4. Realize it’s not about you.
Don’t assume that a driver cutting you off is targeting you, as an individual, or trying to purposely make you angry. The driver may have made a mistake. He may have a crying baby in the car. He may be in a rush to see a family member in the hospital. He may just be having an awful day. We’ve all been there, so don’t take it as a personal affront.
5. Act like you’re in a restaurant.
That doesn’t mean you should roll out the tablecloth and make yourself a sandwich. When someone absentmindedly cuts in front of you at a restaurant, you probably wouldn’t verbally abuse him, call him names, and wish near-death on him. Driving a car often makes people feel isolated and within their own worlds, which gives them the opportunity to do things they would normally find embarrassing, whether it’s singing along to the radio or cursing at the top of their lungs.
With plenty of sleep, the number of an automotive locksmith in hand, an early start, and a level head, go out and conquer that road rage for a pleasant, relaxed drive. And go ahead, belt out your favorite tunes!
- New York City Street: AFSB