We’ve all experienced times when we are travelling on the road and find ourselves infuriated at the actions of another driver. In fact, it is quite easy to point the cause of our anger to others. This can be compounded by the burden of traffic, congested streets, and other factors off the road that help inspire hostility and road rage toward our fellow drivers on the road.
Too often those who are experiencing road rage forget that the car they drive can endanger many others if not driven responsibly. After all, a ton of high-speed steel can be extremely deadly if not operated with a clear and attentive mind. Here at Comedy Defense Driving, we’ll run through some of the few tips to help alleviate your mood before sharing the road with other drivers:
Get Some Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a known epidemic today. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep is a major contributing factor to road rage scenarios. Sleep deprivation alters our judgment, as drivers, to practice more patience on the road. Instead, drivers who are tired on the road not only reduce their basic cognitive skills, but it also leaves them more prone to sharp feelings of annoyance and anger. The National Sleep Foundation recommends eight hours of sleep a day.
Plan Your Trip Ahead
The more we prepare our trip for the road, the less we have to feel like other drivers are taking away from our time and travel. As drivers, especially when we feel we are short on time, we can feel as if a slower driver has a personal vendetta against our schedule. Looking more objectively at the situation, of course, we find that this is certainly not the case. Often, the real problem is a time management issue combined with the navigation it takes to get to your destination in a safe yet timely manner. You can minimize these pressures by planning ahead and giving yourself some extra time when hitting the road.
When noticing yourself beginning to experience road rage, try to loosen yourself up physically. For example, loosen your grip on the steering wheel, roll down the windows, and breathe. Many times simple physical decompression can be extremely helpful for your road rage. If need be, especially on longer trips, it is a smart idea to take breaks and stretch. Another great way to loosen up is to listen to music that relaxes you, let yourself catch some fresh air on your ride, and relax.
Practicing simple acts of kindness helps nurture a positive attitude on the road. The basic principle is the age-old saying “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Adopting this perspective helps reevaluate our attitudes on the road. All of us have experienced a time when we needed some extra leeway on the road due to an honest mistake in navigation. When we practice the same compassion that allowed us to adjust our route, we contribute in making the road a safer public space for all.