Scenario: You pour yourself a bowl of cereal but find out somebody used all the milk yesterday and didn’t replace it, forcing you to settle with a bland bowl of oatmeal.
On your drive to work, you are about to take the next freeway exit to get to your office, but the car to your right will not let you change lanes even though your right blinker has been on for more than 30 seconds, forcing you to miss the exit and be late to work.
Response: How do you respond?
“That’s it, I’m going to speed up and cut that person off the road!!!” (Kind of dangerous)
“It’s time to shake my fist at this inconsiderate driver!” (Still won’t do anything to help your situation)
“I’m going to throw this box of Wheat Thins at the car!” (Throwing 100% whole grain snacks at a car? They will do more for your body than the car)
“I’ll follow this pinhead until they stop so I can tackle them and use my Eagle Scout knowledge to tie their hands up in a square knot!” (The slogan of the boy scouts is “Do a good turn daily” — you will quickly find yourself out of the eagle’s nest before you can say “Lifesaving merit badge”)
According to , 66% of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive driving.
It also states that over a seven-year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were linked to road rage.
How many of those injuries/murders were to people who weren’t even involved in the road rage chases? What if a child was killed because of somebody’s uncontrollable rage on the road?
As a driver, it is very important that we do some introspection on how we control our anger on the road, so we do not harm or kill anybody.
These tips could help you control and avoid any future incidents on the road caused by frustrations behind the wheel from your own rage or others.
How to Avoid Road Rage:
1. Don’t drive if you aren’t in a good emotional state
Unfortunate and frustrating things happen in life (e.g. breakups, arguments, bills, etc.) that can cause our anger to get out of control.
When this happens, it is best to stay off the roads so you don’t do anything to jeopardize the safety of your own life or the lives of others.
2. Expect yourself and other drivers to make the occasional mistake
Listen, we aren’t perfect, and neither is the person in our left or right lane. I highly doubt a driver is taking time out of their day to hit the road with the sole purpose of making you angry. If that truly is the case, then that person needs to do some major self-examination.
Similarly, I’m sure there have been times where you have unintentionally cut somebody off, forgot to put your blinker on, or even forgot about common manners while driving.
To avoid any conflict or rage, drive carefully — check your blind spots, let drivers into a lane if they have been signaling to do so, follow traffic laws, etc.
At the end of the day, just be courteous and patient with other drivers because everyone makes mistakes. How many of our problems would be solved if we were just nice to each other?
3. Don’t add fuel to the fire
If you encounter an angered driver speeding through lanes, just let them pass you.
Don’t retaliate when a driver is upset at you and tries to cut you off — just let them be angry while you make them jealous of your perfect smile from brushing and flossing every day. (Shout-out to dentists!)
When you choose to react to someone with road rage, you are not only putting your life in danger, but also every car around you.
4. Your horn is not a toy
I don’t know about you but being honked at can be super obnoxious and irritating, especially when something isn’t your fault, or you make a minor mistake.
Historically, there is no evidence of horns being installed so drivers could entertain themselves or join a marching band while they drive.
Therefore, the car horn should be used sparingly to avoid collisions or to get the attention of a driver who isn’t paying attention.
5. Plan ahead when your schedule is tight
When a human being is in a hurry, it is difficult to remember that patience is a virtue.
As a driver on the road, the smallest things can cause road rage because you want to get to your destination on time.
To avoid this, you should make sure you give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. So drive safely and don’t overreact to the actions of other drivers — nobody else on the road knows you are running late.
6. Turn on some calming tunes
Let’s take a quick listen to this oldie:
Don’t tell me you didn’t just continuously blink really fast to keep a tear or two from drizzling down your face after listening to that.
(I feel like people should just play this song to anybody in a fight or conflict — they would look into each other’s puppy dog eyes and instantly embrace because of the love and sentimental feelings this song carries. When my theory comes to pass, you can thank the Carpenters for world peace.)
On a smaller scale, you can use these types of soothing tunes to keep your emotions in check to prevent road rage.
7. Honestly, is it REALLY worth it?
More times than not, we regret everything we did while being angry — we say things we don’t mean, break stuff, raise our voices, etc.
When you are driving, and if you are on the cusp of road rage, or want to retaliate to someone else’s road rage, always ask yourself the question: “Is it really worth it?”
Remember the article by , over a seven-year period, 218 murders and 12,610 injuries were linked to road rage.
It is NOT worth it!!!
Hopefully this article gives you an idea of how dangerous road rage can be and some helpful tips on how you can prevent it.
Let’s be happy and make our roads even safer!