Don’t lose your cool: How to deal with road rage
Motorists who are on the receiving end of aggressive road rage have been offered eight ways to stay calm when behind the wheel.
Driving experts from LeaseVan.co.uk are encouraging drivers to take deep breaths,
expect mistakes and show no reaction in a bid to make Britain’s roads happier and diffuse tense and uncomfortable situations.
The causes of road rage seem to be very relatable, with most British drivers being angered by being cut up, being tailgated and by other drivers failing to indicate.
Other common causes of road rage are being stuck in traffic, seeing other drivers littering, or other road users failing to give way.
But by being aware of your emotions, understanding it is not personal and being mature, a stressful drive can be made calmer, and enjoyed by all.
If road users do not heed this advice and look to avoid confrontations, they may make the situation worse through retaliation.
A spokesperson for LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Road rage is a natural response, and everyone has felt road rage at some point. It can be very frustrating.
“But road rage can cause accidents as we lose attention when stressed. We respond angrily if we think another road user is endangering us with their driving.
“It’s not nice to be on the receiving end of an enraged driver, and the key is to try not to let other drivers affect you and your journey.
“Try to concentrate on what you’re doing, as road rage can actually lead to accidents and arguments, so you must be careful.”
These are LeaseVan.co.uk’s eight suggestions to reduce your road rage:
It’s not personal
A motorist mouthing off at your driving skills is gone in less than a minute. Let them drive on. You’ve never seen them before, and you probably won’t see them again. Don’t react. Just focus on the road.
Show no reaction and try not to look
If you are involved in a road rage exchange, try to avoid eye contact with the other driver. You don’t want to add fuel to the fire, and you may think a smile will diffuse the situation, but the aggressive driver may interpret it as a smirk or a laugh at their expense.
If another driver is being confrontational, try to get out of their way. If they approach you, do not make eye contact and try not to react to them. Do not get out of the car. If you can, drive off calmly.
By keeping calm and focusing on the road and the journey you’re taking, instead of engaging in conflict with other drivers, you will help to diffuse the situation. Just focus on your driving.
Be the grown-up
Just like you would tell children, two wrongs don’t make a right. If another driver makes an obscene gesture towards you, don’t retaliate. It won’t do anything other than escalate the situation.
Be aware of your emotions
Road rage can be spurred on by emotions which were being felt before getting behind the wheel of a car. If drivers are tired or have just had an argument, or are particularly upset about something, they are more likely to feel road rage. Be calm when driving and try not to drive if you’re already very angry or upset.
We all make mistakes and not every driver is perfect, so we should all make sure we remember this. If you experience bad driving, knowing we all make mistakes means it might not upset you as much.
Take a deep breath
Breathing is a powerful tool to lower stress and anxiety, so use breathing exercises to calm yourself down. Take six deep, slow breaths to calm down and look to suppress any fight response we might be feeling.
Let them go
If someone’s driving aggressively behind you, hankering to overtake, find a safe place to pull over and let them go. It’ll add seconds to your journey but may save you from being involved in an accident or having an unpleasant confrontation.
If a situation arises and someone is driving dangerously or intimidating you, take their registration number to report to the police. If you have a passenger, ask them to video the other driver on a mobile phone. It might be evidence should things escalate.