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In this economy, stress is everywhere. From loss of jobs and income to loss of retirement and stocks, people driving in the U.S. are feeling the pressure of a struggling system. This stress can cause road rage to become an even higher risk for drivers every time you get behind the wheel.
Type in ‘Road Rage’ into Google and click on the News section, and its everywhere! There has never been a time with more irritated drivers on the road than in the recent past. Take a look at some of the samples:
‘Road rage‘ attack on bus driver
Man wanted in road–rage slashing surrenders to authorities
21 Million Drivers Have Been Victims Of Road Rage In The Past Year
Johnson City man arrested for pulling gun during road rage incident
Trucker arrested in road rage incident on Interstate 83 near …
Champlin fugitive wanted in road rage death is caught
Driver arrested in road rage incident
Authorities see rise in road rage incidents
Report: Road rage incident may have led to crash in Fridley
Road–Rage-April 22, 2009
The list goes on, and that’s headlines just from today only! What can be done about road rage, or more specifically, what can you do to avoid being caught in it?
Tips for Avoiding Road Rage
1. To quote Bill Murray speaking to the groundhog while driving a stolen truck in the comedy film GroundHog Day, “Don’t Drive Angry.” Sure, that’s easy to say, but not always easy to do, because of all the other drivers who don’t have your best interest in mind. So how do you avoid anger while driving? One suggestion is to pull over, stop the car, get out and count to 10. Or 20. Think about what it is that’s causing the anger, and try to breathe and relax. Being angry while driving can quickly escalate to Road Rage if you’re not careful. Do you find yourself getting angry at home, and work, as well as behind the wheel? You may need to speak with a doctor or therapist about what’s really behind the anger problem.
2. Music can Soothe the Angry Beast. Feeling like tailgating and cutting people off? If you’re rocking out or rapping with style, you may try a bold switch to soothing music, like jazz or classical music to change the mood in your car. Or if you haven’t had your tunes crankin’, you may need to flip the radio on and find your favorite song to take your mind off the stress of driving. Just don’t take your hands off the wheel!
3. Plan Ahead. Simply stated, most people who drive a lot have some kind of commute in their day. Want to avoid the rush and therefore, the rage? Check google maps before you leave work or home to see where the traffic clogs are, so you can avoid them and the stress. Change your schedule, leave 20 minutes early, or just be patient so being ‘late’ won’t be an option. Everyone on the road is trying to get somewhere, and avoiding that rush feeling will help eliminate the urge to get angry while driving.
4. Don’t Engage the Anger. It takes two to tango, as they say, and if you’ve found yourself cut off or worse, only you can stop the rage that could ultimately lead to an accident or worse. Remember: no one can make you angry if you choose not to respond. Don’t engage a person who wants to ‘fight’ on the road, use self control to ignore or leave the situation. Take the next exit, slow down or simply ignore an angry driver could save you from serious stress.
Don’t become another headline! Drive safe, stay buckled, and avoid road rage while driving today.