As much as I hate to admit it, I have to be honest: Human beings are angry drivers!
I, like most people, would like to give myself the benefit of the doubt that I am a great citizen at all times and completely prone to road rage. However, I like most people, have also been behind the wheel of a car after missing my work alarm, after long days, etc.
Each of us is different and has different day to day stressors that might make you more likely to suffer from road rage. So see what kind of driver you are and take these tips in consideration before next time you are behind the wheel.
1. Lack of sleep can make you cranky
This is one that should not come as a surprise but we all know how cranky we get when we miss out on sleep. Sleep exhaustions makes us more likely to resort to your angry feelings.
Try to get eight hours of sleep every night (the recommended daily dose of sleep for adults).
2. Plan ahead
Doing such as allotting yourself enough time to sleep will make your day easier behind the road, it also shows off the importance of planning ahead. Angry driving tends to be presentable, so take a look at your schedule and give yourself enough time to get places. Only you know your habits, so make the necessary adjustments to give yourself plenty of time to make your commute!
3. Angry music? Tone it down a little!
As big of a Metallica fan as I am, it does makes sense that listening to angry music might increase your chance for angry driving. Try listening to music that puts you in a good mood and reduce stress. While more relaxing music will lower your stress levels, it will also help cover up stressful traffic noise (Don’t overdo the volume as to completely drown it out!)
4. Share the road and practice kindness
One mistake I find myself making is a pretty common for people to make: assuming that when someone cuts you off, blocks you out, etc. they are doing it on purpose, which can then lead our own emotions to get a little out of hand. Most of the time, other drivers really don’t see you and will be quick to try to apologize. It is up to you how to react, so try to keep that in mind and keep your stress levels down.
5. Take the self-test.
The key to being able to change your driving behavior is admitting your own faults in order to correct them. One useful tool to analyzing your own emotional patterns came from our friends at Edmunds.com, so give them a try. Do any of the following statements sound like you? If you answer "yes" to any of these statements, then your driving style may qualify as aggressive.
- I regularly have to speed in order to get to work on time.
- I tailgate other drivers, especially the ones that drive in the left lane.
- When other drivers do something to annoy me, I flash my lights and honk my horn to let them know.
- I am verbally abusive to other drivers, whether they can hear or not.
- I constantly weave in and out of traffic to get ahead of other drivers.
At one point or another we will lose our cool on the road, however aggressive driving is something that can be prevented. Try to make sure you are rested before driving, give yourself extra time and practice common courtesy to others and you will be able to lower aggressive tendencies.