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fast drivingIt’s no secret that drivers fueled by road rage are a danger to both themselves and every other driver in the area. In fact, the NHTSA estimates aggressive driving contributes to about one-third of all car accidents and about two-thirds of accident-related fatalities. While external factors, such as increasingly congested roads, act as triggers to drivers with road rage, it’s up to you to keep your anger in check. Try these ten tips for reducing your road rage:
  1. Leave early: Running late can trigger road rage; therefore, always leave ten minutes early when you need to be somewhere by a certain time, like work or a doctor’s appointment. This extra time leaves you some wiggle room if you get stuck in traffic or need to stop for gas.
  2. Call ahead: If you are running late, call your boss or doctor to let them know. This simple gesture can reduce your stress behind the wheel so you can reach your destination safely.
  3. Sleep well: Sleep deprivation makes people prone to irritation and anger. Sleep for at least eight hours to minimize these feelings in the morning.
  4. Distract yourself: Rather than focusing on the slow drivers that surround you, turn on some soothing music, a talk radio show or an audiobook. It gives your mind something else to concentrate on and can ease feelings of anger.
  5. Curb sudden movements: Sudden lane changes or slamming on your brakes can irritate other drivers around you, escalating the irritation felt by everyone. Always use your turn signals to notify others of your intensions.
  6. Avoid tailgating: Similarly, tailgating can anger other drivers and can fuel your own rage. Rather, take a few deep breaths and wait for a moment when you can safely pass.
  7. Don’t make eye contact: Never make eye contact with a driver who is fueling your anger. This can be seen as a challenge of sorts and can result in a rapid escalation of dangerous driving behaviors.
  8. Refrain from engaging: If another driver does try to challenge or one-up you, do not engage. Revving the engines, honking, flashing lights etc. only leads to dangerous driving behaviors.
  9. Breathe and relax: Taking controlled, deep breaths actively forces the body to relax. If you feel yourself tensing up in anger, focus on breathing deeply and loosen up your grip on the steering wheel to allow your body to mellow out.
  10. Record yourself: Some aggressive drivers need a wakeup call. Record a few drives and listen to yourself later at home. You may be surprised at how much you yell out at other drivers.
If you’re caught displaying road rage, you may need specialized coverage. Call AccuRate Insurance Agency at (314) 429-4430 for more information on St. Louis SR22 insurance.
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