There’s no easy way to say this, but you’re probably an awful driver. There’s a one in a million shot that you’re not, of course, but if we play the odds and weigh up the percentages and averages that we all know to be true, every other road user is useless at operating their vehicle in anything approaching a sane manner (which tends to diminish the chances of you standing out as the one driver who is sensible and competent). Nevertheless, there is a chance. Now, assuming that you are, in fact, like me, the only person on the roads during every busy commute that can be trusted to drive sensibly, help is needed to remain calm. After all, with everyone else out there trying to take home the medal for poor driving, staying calm can be literally life and death (if you’ve been involved in a crash that wasn’t your fault in Dallas, see this website).
Get comfy, you’re going to be here a while
Your car is your second home. If there were a graph showing the places you spend most of your time, your workplace and your bed would be two of the big hitters, with the supermarket wine aisle (not judging anyone!) and your car coming in at regular third and fourth places. Getting around is an overlooked time-blackhole. As my dear old gran used to say, always have comfy shoes and comfy sheets, because if you’re not in one you’re in the other. Solid advice. But I’d go one further – have a comfortable car setting. Keeping your car tidy, well ventilated, smelling nice, and stocked with water or mints or gum can relax you and help you to reduce road rage.
Listen to calming music
Time to dig out that Best of Enya CD from Mother’s Day in ‘06 (or perhaps, and more realistically, you could listen to something good – but keep an eye on that BPM). Studies have shown that fast or angry music can make drivers speed up, which in turn can increase your expectations on the driving speed of other road users. While the person in front of you would no doubt share your love for the latest bootleg of ‘German industrial deathgrind 2020’, they can’t hear it in your car – so refrain from getting upset when they don’t wish to travel at light speed and instead get in your way a bit. Reduce the BPM, reduce the volume, reduce your speed, and stay safe.
Lastly, don’t agitate a psychopath
(This isn’t so much a tip to reduce road rage so much as a reason to avoid acting on those road rage impulses…)
People, eh. Am I right? People are an odd bunch. I don’t know who brought them up or what happened to them while they were young, but people are a mix’n’match sack of unstable emotional rollercoasters with questionable morals. This piece of advice almost goes without saying, but don’t take the chance of directing your reduce road rage at someone who, although potentially deserving of being on the end of your disappointment, would think nothing of using their vehicle to remind you that you are a soft and squishy human-shaped bag of things that can easily bleed. Get home safe.