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Do You Have Tips For Dealing With Road Rage?

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A

We can blame the violent-type behavior some people exhibit with an automobile on a lot of things, but if each of us monitored our own behavior, the problem could certainly be reduced. Before taking to the highways, consider the following suggestions:

  • Start early enough in your preparations for work or errand running so you have a few minutes to focus your thoughts on something calming and relaxing before you leave home.
  • Tell those around you how much you love and care for them prior to leaving for work. Your day will go a lot better and so will theirs. Leave home with ample time to get to work. If you leave with a little time to spare, then everything that slows you down does not become an irritant and a source of frustration to you.
  • Try to arrange your commute at times when there is less traffic. Recognize, if you are leaving home under lots of stress, you are much more likely to act in an irresponsible fashion. Find ways to handle your stress other than exhibiting irresponsible behavior behind the steering wheel.
  • Create a relaxing environment in your car. Select some calming music either from the radio or from a tape or CD. You might want to try singing happy songs to yourself.
  • Do not take traffic problems personally. Pause and marvel at how well most people obey the traffic rules. Most people are very courteous in their driving behaviors.
  • If someone is observed driving aggressively, avoid eye contact and never make obscene gestures to show your frustration. Use your horn very sparingly if at all and obey all traffic laws. Slow down and get away from someone acting in an irresponsible manner. Note a description of the car and a license plate number and report the incidence to the police. Take a big breath and then go on with your business of driving.
  • Be a courteous driver. Someone is much more likely to treat you courteously if you are courteous. Think of the damage that could or might be done to other drivers if you get someone outraged because of your neglectful driving. Car-pool whenever possible. We all tend to act kinder to others when we are in the presence of other people.
  • Set a positive and responsible example to your children and spouse while driving. This will help them to avoid "road rage" either in themselves or other people.
  • Being angry or frustrated is not healthy for you or anyone else. Arriving at your destination with added anger or frustration is not good for conducting what ever business you are going to do.

Posted on 2 Aug 2006

Glen Jenson
Family and Human Development Specialist

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