Road rage is bad for more than just your blood pressure; it can also be extremely dangerous—and life threatening—for both you and others on the road. But if you are susceptible to road rage, recognizing it and changing your habits is not always an easy thing to do. Here are some tips for recognizing your own tendency to engage in road rage, as well as tips for mitigating road rage when you feel it coming on.
Attributes of Enraged Drivers
Most drivers who suffer from road rage have a few characteristics in common. For example, the American Psychological Association has found that characteristics of angry drivers include the following traits listed below.
- Engage in hostile and aggressive thinking
- Are more likely to take risks while driving
- Are prone to feeling angry
- Drive more aggressively
- Have more accidents
- Generally experience more anger, anxiety, and impulsiveness
If you are a person who experiences any of the above, particularly when driving, you may be at high-risk for experiencing road rage. Recognizing this in yourself and working to combat it is incredibly important for your safety.
Plan Your Route in Advance
One of the best things that you can do to reduce your risk of experiencing an episode of road rage is to plan your route well in advance. When you plan your route in advance—and leave the house or your place of work early enough to avoid major traffic jams—you will have a better idea of what to expect, and are less likely to be caught by surprise by closed roads or accidents. Before leaving the house or your office, listen to accident reports to find out what is happening on the road; plan accordingly.
Get Your Shuteye
Getting plenty of sleep is one of the largest factors in alleviating the effects of stress. If you are not sleeping enough, you may be more prone to grumpiness, mood swings, outbursts, anger, rollercoaster emotions, stress, and a feeling of being out of control. You can work to get more sleep by getting into bed earlier, reducing exposure to artificial light, and implementing a calming nighttime routine, such as reading a book or drinking some caffeine-free tea.
Have a Backup Strategy
While ideally other drivers on the road would not get under your skin and make you angry, the truth is that this is not always likely. When you feel as though some road rage is about to strike you, have a backup strategy in place to help you calm down. Your calming strategy may be putting on your favorite (and hopefully soothing) song, engaging in breathing exercises, or thinking about something else that is positive and uplifting. Practice your ‘backup strategy’ often so that when anger hits, you are ready to strike back.
Recognize the Dangers of Aggressive Driving
Perhaps the biggest deterrent for driving aggressively is in understanding just how dangerous aggressive driving, and road rage, can really be. To put this into perspective, consider the act of speeding. Speeding is one of the most common acts of aggressive driving. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the year 2013, there were 32,719 traffic fatalities, with 29 percent of them—or 9,613—involving speeding. Aggressive driving can cost you your life – do not fall victim to it!
What to Do When Aggressive Driving Causes an Accident
You can control your own behavior, but you cannot control the behaviors of other drivers. If another driver’s aggressive driving and road rage causes a car accident where you suffer injuries, you have the right to seek damages by filing a claim with your insurance company, or filing a civil suit in some cases.
For legal assistance in filing your claim and recovering compensation for your injuries, a car accident attorney can help. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, our team of car accident attorneys is ready to advocate for you. To schedule a consultation, call our offices today at 215-642-2335.