How to avoid road rage

Angry Man in Car

The early morning commute can be a pain, especially if you drive to work. Watching the dashboard clock edge closer to 9:00am while the traffic ahead of you slows to a crawl is enough to get anyone’s blood pressure rising. That’s when people can start losing their cool. Road rage is always a risk for drivers and has the potential to put a serious dent in your day. With that in mind, we’ve put together a few key ways to reduce the chances of blown gaskets.

1. Make sure you get enough sleep

In order to beat the morning traffic, it can be tempting to be an early bird and get a head start on your journey. While this can be a good idea, it’s important to make sure you’re not sacrificing vital sleep for a quicker commute. According to the US Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), fatigue can make you feel detached from other drivers, which makes it a lot easier to get frustrated with them. If you know you’re going to be getting up earlier, do yourself a favour and go to bed early as well so that you’re rested and fresh for the morning.

2. Don’t engage with aggressive drivers

Anger can be an infectious thing. How many times have you been in close quarters with an angry person and found yourself quickly losing your cool as well? Greenflaghas said that one of the best ways to avoid anger on the road is to avoid engaging with other angry drivers. If you find yourself on the receiving end of honked horns, tailgating or obscene gestures, don’t take the bait: avoid angry driver interactions and give them plenty of room when they’re around.

3. Plan ahead

There’s nothing more frustrating than having a travel timetable in place, only for it to be ripped to pieces by engineering works or a dismal diversion. It may seem like the best way to save time is to get out of the house as quickly as possible, but try and check the traffic news. Highways England is a great online source for up to date traffic warnings, so you can find out about the M6 standstill before you’re stuck in the middle of it. Get into the habit of checking your route for delays before you hit the road and you can leave your stress as the door.

4. Create a relaxed environment

You can’t always control the way other drivers behave on the road. So why not be the master of your own environment? Transforming your journey into a safe haven of relaxation is easy and can do wonders for stopping stress before it starts. Greenflag has suggested that having as few distractions as possible results in a better driving attitude. So try changing up your music selection for something quiet and calm and clear out any distracting clutter. Before you know it your car will be a palace of zen!

5. Put yourself in their shoes

It’s an old favourite, but it’s always worth bearing in mind. It’s easy to fume when other drivers get angry at you because it feels unfair. It’s also easy to get angry at drivers who don’t seem to appreciate how much of a rush you’re in and stick to their 10mph limit. But with very few exceptions, we’re all in the same boat – everyone’s just trying to get where they need to go as easily as possible. It’s one thing to be aware of other drivers on the road, it’s another thing entirely to be sympathetic. But how much easier will your commute be if everyone did?

6. Avoid the horn except for safety

With the exception of the novelty kind, car horns can be a huge source of rage when they’re not used correctly. When people get angry, they tend to use their horns as megaphones. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles has reported that overuse of the horn can contribute to road rage in a big way, so what we end up with are shouting matches of parps and honks between cars. Car horns are there for safety purposes and you should keep your ear out for them at all times – don’t make yourself extra tense by using it as a stress ball. Remember, with great noise comes great responsibility.