Are you an Aggressive Driver
January 12, 2010
Well are you? Have you ever found yourself in a situation, where a driver cuts off on the highway, a driver in front is braking erratically, or even simply driving below the speed limit? How did you react to this? Some people would simply put up with it, it probably wouldn’t even affect others, but a few of us get wound up and angry at this person, and sometimes can end up lashing out. Does this sound like you? A recent survey of 526 motorists found that within the previous 12 months almost 90% stated that they had experienced behavior that could be classified as road rage.
Aggressive driving can involve a number of things and situations, including following too close, speeding, weaving through traffic, using your horn excessively, not obeying traffic safety rules, verbally lashing out at over drivers and passengers in your vehicle, even just mentally condemning them for whatever they did to anger you! But have you ever stopped to think about the other driving that you’re condemning?
- 52% of drivers say they have experienced verbal abuse or gestures from another driver.
- 9% said they had been forced to pull over or forced completely off the road, while 3% said another driver had got out of their car and threatened them with violence.
Sometimes people drive the way they do for valid reasons. Have you ever thought a driver could be breaking randomly because of a screaming baby, a loose pet, or even because there is a bee in the car? That maybe a car cut you off because there’s an emergency? Always put yourself in the other driver’s shoes.
Admittedly however, you will come across some bad drivers in your lifetime, but it’s important that you control your anger, and learn how to handle situations effectively so as not to loose your temper, because aggressive driving does not have a positive outcome.
If you are seen and reported driving aggressively, or find yourself in an accident or situation because of your aggressive driving and face all sorts of penalties, such as fines, driving bans, prosecution, community sentence, compensation pay-out to the victim of your rage, and in more severe cases, you could even face jail.
If you suffer from aggressive driving and road rage, stop and think about what you could be facing, and what you could risk losing if you persist. But there are ways you can reduce your aggression and rage, in order to become a safe driver again.
Always get your sleep, don’t stay out all night when you know you have to be up early. We all know we can get irritable and cranky when we don’t have enough sleep. Tiredness is one of the main causes of road rage and aggressive driving, according to the National Sleep Foundation. So make sure you stock up on those Z’s!
Perhaps change the music you listen to. There’s an age old argument that says aggressive music leads to aggressive people, this isn’t strictly true in most cases, but what music you listen to can effect your driving. Aggressive or bass driven music can get you pumped up and ready for action! If you know your music effects you, then change it, you don’t have to drive along to classical if you don’t want, try listening to audio books, or even a comedy station. Listening to comedy can especially lighten our moods, and it can even drown out the traffic noise! Give it a try, it might help.
And do you ever actually leave yourself enough time to get to work? Being late can make us stressed and angry, if you allow yourself enough time to get to work make it through the traffic, if it’s the traffic that’s making your angry, try leaving early to beat it, or even just finding an alternative route. Couple this with some comedy radio or relaxing music, and you’re on the road to calm!
And always remember it’s not about you. Drivers are not out to specifically get you angry, you are not the target, like I said before, perhaps they have a reason? Roll your window down, and take deep breaths to calm yourself if you feel yourself getting angry, it sounds silly, but it does work.
If you think your aggressive driving is really bad, and these techniques are not helping, then there are groups you can join that can take your problem to the root, and give you more extensive techniques in order to help you.
Remember, aggressive driving is not okay, it’s dangerous and you could be risking far more than your money and your freedom. Take steps today to curb your road rage and work your way towards a better driving life today.