Aggressive driving, or road rage, is a huge problem that only seems to be getting worse. According to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, almost 80% of drivers expressed significant road rage while driving at least once in the previous year.
But what is road rage? The term refers to any type of unsafe driving behavior that is done deliberately and in anger. Usually, road rage comes in the form of yelling, cursing, speeding, sideswiping, running red lights, tailgating, angry honking, blocking another car from changing lanes, and cutting off another vehicle on purpose, among other mean and inconsiderate actions. Some people even ram other vehicles intentionally, causing an accident.
There are many factors that can contribute to road rage, including running late, traffic delays, and a disregard for the safety of others and the law.
Here are some things that you can do to keep calm and avoid road rage incidents.
No matter how other drivers are behaving, you should practice safe and considerate driving. This is especially important for rideshare drivers. These drivers should always drive safely, so as to avoid their Lyft cars from getting into accidents. A lawyer may get involved, otherwise.
Listen to Music
If you listen to music, you have something to distract you from the annoying actions of other drivers. However, you should listen to music that will calm you down and not put you in an aggressive mood.
Use Horn for Emergencies Only
Your horn should only be honked in emergency situations wherein you need other drivers to be aware of your presence. Don’t use your horn just to make noise and announce your annoyance to everyone on the road. It won’t make traffic move any faster, anyway.
Focus on the Traffic, Not the Drivers
If one of your fellow drivers is getting on your nerves, just ignore them. Don’t reciprocate the negativity. Things will be easier if you simply keep your eyes and attention on the road.
Adjust Your Commute
Sometimes, you may get angry because you’re running late and are in a hurry for it. If you find that your anger is mostly caused by traffic delays, you should give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Make sure to check the traffic reports and budget your departure and travel time accordingly.
Make Your Car Comfortable
Your surroundings can affect your mood. Make your car as comfortable as possible so that you aren’t sitting in an unbearable environment. If it’s hot, turn your air conditioning up. If it’s cold, then turn the heater on.
Think Before You Act
Take a breather. Think about what you stand to lose if you act on your anger and cause an accident. Road rage can make people do stupid things, from yelling at a stranger to actual assault. If you act on your rage, you may end up in jail, or worse – lose your life.
There will always be unruly drivers out there; don’t be one of them. You wouldn’t want to be a victim of road rage, so don’t perpetuate it.