Everyone loses their temper from time to time. After all, we’re only human. But when anger rears its ugly head behind the wheel, the subsequent road rage can be hazardous — if not point-blank unlawful.
Road rage and hostile driving have been at the center of more and more lawmaking discussions over the past decade, and 14 states have enforced aggressive driving laws.
Dr. Leon James, better known as Dr. Driving, is an expert on driving psychology who literally wrote the book on road rage and its causes. He estimates that there are roughly 400 billion aggressive driving-related interactions per year in the U.S. That’s a LOT of road rage.
As the saying goes, nonetheless, cooler heads succeed. Here are 3 guaranteed tips for evading rage on the road.
Get 8 hours (road rage thrives on no sleep)
Have a short fuse? Surprise! It’s even shorter when you don’t get enough rest. Sleep can do miracles for your driving state of mind, not to mention the fact that it makes getting up in the morning a little less, shall we say, challenging?
Make promptness a practicality
Driving is often demanding to begin with, so why add the added stress of running late? Plan to leave for work 10 or 15 minutes earlier to avoid the drained feeling of running behind. You’ll not only lessen your road rage tendencies, but you’ll also shock your coworkers who are used to sauntering into the office before you.
Trade Eminem for Bach
Believe it or not, your music choice could be contributing to your destructive driving performance. When you’re feeling stressed on the road, try listening to classical music to help ease your mood. If you don’t have any Mozart or Beethoven in your car, make yourself a short CD and keep it in the glove box for emergencies. If you’re not interested in changing your tunes, try turning down the volume.
And remember, a little common politeness goes a long way. While there’s not much you can do about the way everyone else drives, you can improve your own driving habits. Use your blinker, apply the 3-second rule, let the guy in front of you merge, and when all else fails, never underestimate the power of one little word: sorry.