In the last 12 years, around 1,500 people died in road rage accidents. Police departments warn that road rage accidents happen more often every year.
Every one of those 1,500 deaths was preventable. The people involved needed to practice managing their anger. It takes seconds to change your point-of-view, but no amount of time will revive the dead.
Managing frustration while you’re driving will keep everyone safe on the road. The changes to how you react to stress improve other parts of your life, as well.
You’ll need a few tricks to use for road rage prevention. Practice these techniques each time you get behind the wheel.
Remember That You Can’t Control Other People
A natural reaction to frustration while driving is the urge to correct other drivers. Did the guy on your left drift into your lane a little? He might have noticed because his attention was focused elsewhere.
The other driver’s inability to hold their car steady while looking left isn’t your problem. Your reaction to how they drive is all you have control of in this situation.
If you believe they’re a danger to you, safely move your car away. Yelling or honking can turn an honest mistake into a road rage incident.
Are You Projecting Your Problems onto The Other Drivers?
On difficult days, it’s hard to let go of negative thoughts. The frustration you feel when a work project fails follows you into the car later. When a driver aggravates your frustration, you direct all that energy at them.
It’s not fair for a stranger to bear the weight of your bad day. They might have issues weighing on their mind, as well.
You never know if the person driving beside you got bad news or doesn’t feel well. The moment your frustration starts to bubble over, stop and take a breath. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment.
How to Stay Calm While Driving
Almost 6% of drivers admit to ramming a car or confronting the driver face-to-face. By not managing your frustration and escalating the issue, you could get hurt. You need to develop quick coping skills for frustration management.
Coping techniques for frustration management:
- Calming music
- Guided meditation
- Visualize the possible accident if you continue driving while angry
- Recite anything you memorized, like a poem or mantra
- Pull over into a parking lot and take a brisk walk
Distracting yourself from frustration allows you to find its source. Are you mad at the driver in the Buick or the email you forgot to send at work? Once you find the source, work on fixing your stress reactions to the problem.
Do You Need Help Managing Frustration on the Road?
Managing frustration doesn’t come easy for some people, and that’s okay. Distraction methods aren’t a one size fits all solution for managing anger.
The first step to learning how to prevent road rage is asking for guidance. Anger management sessions or counseling help find the source of your frustration.
If you live in the far western suburbs, contact Braden Counseling Center. We offer several counseling methods to help with road rage prevention. Our goal is to give you the skills you need to manage your anger without any help.