We’ve all gotten a little bit grumpy with other drivers while we are behind the wheel. It happens to the best of us. But road rage can become a serious issue when you start spending more of your trip angry with other drivers than indifferent to them. In fact, AAA reported that aggressive driving is a factor in 54 percent of fatal crashes. So what are some ways to calm down when you start feeling the road rage kick in?
1. Turn on your favorite music
One sure-fire way to help you chill out a little bit is to turn on a playlist of your favorite music. It’s hard yell at other drivers when you’re busy singing along to all the best songs. If you start to notice that your favorite music isn’t helping calm the road rage, try some soothing music like classical or jazz.
2. Leave the house earlier
No one wants to be late for work or for plans with friends, so it can be frustrating when drivers are driving slower than we would like them to. That’s why it’s important to leave the house a little bit early, and leaving just a few minutes earlier can make a big difference. If you have a 50-minute commute to work in the best of conditions, don’t wait to leave your house until 50 minutes before your shift starts. Give yourself a little extra time, so if you do run into traffic or get stuck behind a slow driver, you won’t stress about being late.
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3. Don’t expect everything to go according to plan
Being optimistic is never a bad thing, but it’s important to be realistic when driving. There are going to be things that happen on the road that are out of our control like construction, traffic and the way other people are driving. Take a deep breath and remember that you can’t control everything going on around you. If a driver near you is being reckless, focus on keeping yourself and your passengers safe from a collision.
4. Remember that other drivers are people too
It’s important to remember that other drivers on the road are people too. Maybe the person you just had some choice words for got fired from their job yesterday. Maybe the guy speeding past you is rushing to meet his wife at the hospital on the biggest day of his life. Every person around you has a situation that you aren’t aware of, so try your best to give them the benefit of the doubt.
5. Avoid eye contact with other drivers
We have all done something to annoy a driver around us, whether it was an accident or not. Avoiding eye contact with the drivers around you definitely helps with your own road rage because you won’t get second-hand anger. Did a driver just give you the finger? You’re not going to know if you keep your eyes in your own lane.