Waking up to a ringing alarm clock on Monday morning is bad; hearing honking horns while sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to work is worse. But I'll take gridlock over this madness any day! How do these people get out of this intersection alive? (I wonder if this is Vietnam...)
I'm sure you've all been one of those pissed off people, angrily clenching the steering wheel, cursing at the traffic that's making you late for work. Stress from driving can cause your blood pressure to rise and your emotions to get the best of you behind the wheel. People with such road rage honk their horn incessantly, yell at other drivers, tailgate cars in front of them, and weave in and out of different lanes, which can cause accidents.
If any of this rings true for you, here are some ways to prevent road rage:
- Carpool. Take a bus. Hop on the subway. You can get to work anyway you want, but who said you have to be the one behind the wheel? Now instead of getting annoyed during your commute, you can read a book, catch up on the news, write a letter, talk to other people, do a little work, or even snooze. Doesn't that sound relaxing? Plus, it's better for the environment!
- If you have to drive, try to avoid certain times of day or places that get congested. I used to leave for work a little earlier, which almost cut my commute in half.
- Make yourself a mix of calming songs to listen to in the car. You'd be surprised what relaxing music can do for your mood. Or listen to a book on tape. Getting lost in a good story can distract you from getting bothered by what's happening outside the car.
- Be the bigger person. If someone cuts you off, doesn't use their turn signal, runs a red light, or rides up your behind, just let it go. You can't change what they did (even if you give them "the finger" with both hands), so just forget about it. Be proud that you are being a good and safe driver.
- If you come across an aggressive driver, keep your distance, don't make eye contact, don't honk, and don't do anything to instigate them.
Most importantly, buckle up!