It has happened to the best of us. You are on your way to the beach house for the week with your closest family and friends and you are cruising along listening to music and having a good time. When BAM you hit traffic that appears to be 10 miles long. It starts to become hot, your daughter has to pee, your son is complaining he is hungry, and all of a sudden someone cuts you off. ROAD RAGE HITS! Now what?
You could put your car into park and get out to fight the guy who cut you off
You could honk your horn and scream at him
You could take a deep breath, let it go, and enjoy your week at the beach
Road rage is common, especially in stressful situations like traffic, but it does not usually end well and can be dangerous. Road rage makes us more prone to accidents, can increase stress and tension, and if escalated enough can lead to physical violence and even getting arrested.
You have the power to be a courteous and defensive driver and help to cut down the level of frustration you cause other drivers. However, you cannot control other drivers and what they do. You can only control how you react to situations. How can you manage road rage?
Breathe. When you feel yourself starting to get angry or frustrated at other drivers, take a deep breath. Focusing on your breathing can bring your attention inward and make frustrations seem more removed, without taking your focus too far from the road.
Listen. Put on an audiobook or some music. Music can help to calm you down or better your mood when you feel that road rage start to come on and audiobooks can provide a great distraction and get you back on track for an enjoyable trip.
Relax. Practice some relaxation techniques and let your frustration go. Such techniques can help you quickly release tension and frustration, allowing you to both physically and mentally relax.
Play. Distract yourself by engaging everyone in the car in a fun game such as the ABC game where you look for each letter of the alphabet on the trip or look to find all 50 states in the license plates you are passing.
Plan. Manage your time and plan ahead. Make sure to map out your route and leave to avoid high traffic times. Pack snacks and activities for everyone in the car and plan adequate restroom breaks. A little bit of preplanning ahead of time can save you some sanity later on.
We all know road rage can get the best of us and it can be difficult to control. But by doing your best to control your own emotions, you are making the road safer for everyone involved.