To be at the receiving end of someone's road rage can be a very frightening and dangerous experience. It has happened to me - many years ago - and I was not even at fault. The abuser mistook me and my car for another driver. I felt very vulnerable but fortunately the abuse was verbal rather than physical – nevertheless the language he used was shocking.
It could be you who has the road rage after a particular incident
If you feel that your self control, when you are behind the wheel, is perhaps not up to scratch, work on these ways of “keeping your cool”. The tips need to become your daily pattern because you really never know when that temptation to blow your top when driving could happen:
Top 10 tips to avoid confrontation
- When driving, listen to something calming, such as a classical CD or an audio book.
- Pretend you’re in the bank. If someone cut in front of you there, would you swear and make a rude gesture? Not likely!
- Create a calm environment in your car's interior. Spray a naturally calming scent in your car – but of course no artificial fragrances full of chemicals which might actually make matters worse. The pure essential oils of lavender always have a calming influence.
- Work at keeping the interior of your car uncluttered and clean inside. You spend time inside your car – make it as inviting as possible.
- Don’t take someone else's bad driving, mistakes or attitude personally. You never know what they might have to put up with in their own lives. Be generous and give them a bit of slack.
- Always keep a safe distance from other drivers, avoiding driving too close to another car. Just that can be enough to set someone off. It also keeps you safer and allows you to take evasive action.
- Always indicate you are sorry and smile apologetically if you've unintentionally annoyed another driver or made an error in your own driving.
- Be polite. Give way to someone who needs to be let into a gap in front of you. Courtesy on the roads goes a long way to keep you and other road users safer.
- Never drive when you’re angry. Rather pull over, take a few deep breaths, phone a friend or, if you are still at home, treat yourself to a soothing cup of tea first before you start your journey.
- Going on a long trip? Make adequate preparation with plenty of sleep beforehand, planing your route ahead and making sure you you have sufficient time to get to your destination without feeling rushed. Even then, remember it is better to be late than “dead” on time.
While it is easy to feel over confident within the confines of your car, road rage can easily get out of hand and become dangerous. Keep calm, drive safely and find other ways to take out your frustrations.
Click here to find out how you score in this road rage quiz. Let us know if your score is high or low!