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Anger while driving is not just inconvenient — it can be deadly. From accidents to homicide, road rage is culprit for many fatal road encounters. You or loved ones in the passenger seats could be victimized. Thirty seconds of tailgating can land you serving 20 years in prison.

If you’re like most people, you spend a significant amount of your day behind the wheel. It’s best then to know some simple tips on how to cope with road rage, whether yours or another driver’s.

Consider the following:

Ask: do you have an anger problem? In general, road rage is a sign of a general disposition, not a one-time reaction. Do you have trouble managing anger across all areas of your life, including work and family? Are you temperamental by nature; do you tend to say things you later regret? If yes, then you need to be extra mindful whenever you’re driving. When traffic is heavy, you’re running late, and your blood pressure’s 160/120, it’s easy to give in to impulsive behavior.

Learn to assess if a confrontation’s worth it. Another driver wants to overtake you on the road. Time it takes to let him or her pass? 1 minute. Time it takes you to step down from your vehicle and demand a confrontation? Possibly 30 minutes, an hour if the driver’s in a bad mood. Choice is simple, really. Why make your life more difficult?

ALWAYS drive defensively. The thing is, even people without anger issues have a sense of entitlement when they’re on the road. They’ll go over the speed limit. They’ll overtake slower motorists. Others are just plain aggressive (or newbies). It’ll save you a lot of frustration to just assume the world is filled with drivers born to annoy you — so be prepared for anything. Keep a good distance between you and other vehicles, obey all traffic rules. You’ll live longer. Promise.

Settle an issue off the road. Do you really need to engage in a shouting match in the middle of the street? If you honestly felt that you’ve been slighted, take the argument to the side of the road. Better yet, agree to meet at someplace conducive to constructive discussion at a time when both your and the other driver’s adrenalin are not running a mile a minute. Or let insurance handle things — that’s why you pay monthly premiums for.

Don’t join the chain. A common trigger of road rage is the anger of other drivers. But know that you don’t have to join others in their merry camaraderie. You can choose not to let other people’s anger affect you. Instead, learn some instant stress management skills. Count 1 to 10, practice rhythmic breathing, pray. Or simply park on the side of the road and let things settle down.

Choose a relaxed way to travel. Do you really have to travel during rush hour, when it’s likely that drivers would be employing creative ways to get one up their peers? Do you really need to take the main road; perhaps there’s another way where the flow is so much smoother. Or leave early, so you know you can afford to take your time. And if all these are impossible, then heck, why not commute or let someone else drive you?