Avoiding Road Rage
With so many drivers now on the roads, it can be easy to lose one’s temper, especially when you are stuck in heavy traffic and you see someone cut in front of you. This emotional reaction to your driving environment is often referred to as road rage, and while some people may express themselves with ugly language and violent hand gestures, others use their car as a weapon or may actually use a weapon with the intent to seriously injure someone who has made them angry. Any person can be capable of violence, if pushed too far so it is important to take steps to keep your cool when driving your vehicle.
Your choice of music
Music has a strong influence on your mood and one way that you can remain calm when caught in a traffic jam is to play music in your car that you find relaxing. Choosing music that induces happy feelings will combat that impulse to get annoyed with the actions of another driver and keep you smiling even when facing rude driving. When you play music in the car, avoid using music that heightens your emotions as this can evoke anger more quickly. Good choices of music for those busy commutes are jazz, new age, classical, or something with a good dance beat that will have you humming and tapping that steering wheel.
You may not know this, but having a comfortable temperature in the car will also help prevent you from becoming susceptible to road rage. If you think about it, you are probably more irritable when it is hot and miserable out. Few people tend to get into a road rage in the middle of winter when it’s cold outside. Setting your car’s thermostat to a comfortable level will make you feel more relaxed and easy going as you sit at the wheel on a busy freeway.
A noisy environment can breed stress and anxiety so if you tend to be a high stress person, you want to make the interior of your car as quiet as possible. Shut out the outside world by keeping your windows closed and your car peaceful. If you have children, bring something for them to do in the car so that you can concentrate on the other vehicles instead of having to play referee. If you have other adults in the car, try to avoid stressful conversations that are likely to raise your blood pressure and your temper. Make it a rule for the car that conversation should be kept light and happy. Instead of focusing on a rude customer or boss, try to think about other things such as weekend plans or an anticipated vacation.
Stop the territorial behavior
It is not uncommon for drivers to become extremely territorial the moment they get into their car. A happy well balanced person suddenly turns into a watch dog, making sure that other cars don’t get too close to what they consider their car’s personal space. However, this kind of attitude can lead to violent behavior like getting out of one’s car to bang on the car of the other driver, pulling out a gun to threaten a driver, or wanting to get even with another driver for insulting your car.
Being more aware of your thoughts and emotions when in your car will help you avoid road rage confrontations and keep you calm in those traffic jams.