A study released in July 2016 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that approximately 80 percent of motorists had felt “significant anger, aggression or road rage” while operating a vehicle at least once in the previous 12 months. While this number may not be surprising, it can still serve as a wake-up call for anyone who gets behind the wheel.
Remain Calm and Move On
Keeping your cool isn’t always easy when you’re stuck in traffic. But getting enough rest, giving yourself plenty of time to reach your destination and becoming familiar with alternate routes can go a long way toward a peaceful commute. Once you’re behind the wheel, you can keep stress at bay by listening to an interesting podcast or low-key playlist or by safely practicing mindfulness techniques.
Avoid the Aggression of Others
Of course, taking the recommended steps doesn’t guarantee that others will act accordingly. The National Highway Transportation and Safety Agency’s tips for handling an angry motorist include using your horn only when necessary, ignoring obscene gestures and calling the police as you drive to the nearest station if someone begins following you.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Courteous driving helps reduce the number of road rage incidents that occur each year. Habits such as maintaining an adequate distance from the vehicle in front of you (at least two car lengths), using your turn signals appropriately, allowing others to merge safely and using your high beams responsibly can keep you and fellow drivers happy for many more miles.