At times, it can feel like the most frustrating feeling in the world. In fact, at times it can even progress into road rage – which as we all know is no laughing matter.
However, even if you don’t quite get into the road rage sensation, it’s safe to say that there will most definitely have been occasions where you have lost your cool on the road.
Worst of all, it’s these feelings that can shape your whole day – from out of nowhere your mood is ruined.
Fortunately, there can be coping mechanisms. We will now take a look at some of the steps you can take in a bid to make yourself a bit calmer, and ultimately happier, the next time you get behind the wheel.
It can sometimes be related to shut-eye (or a lack of it)
First and foremost, we can’t emphasize the importance of sleep enough. A lack of sleep brings out the worst of everyone, so it stands to reason that a tired driver isn’t going to be a calm one.
Get the recommended eight hours, and your journey the next day will be much more tolerable – for everyone.
Journey hacks might be the way forward
In today’s day and age, following the main routes doesn’t have to be your only option. Sometimes, it’s about planning ahead, and realizing that the “back routes” can save you a lot of stress.
Sure, you might not be able to get to the high-speed levels, but maneuvering around quieter streets without as much traffic can be a lot less stressful and make your journey more tolerable.
The likes of Google Maps can help you no-end here, and such technology is only becoming more advanced.
Some people just aren’t suited to rush hour
Following on from the above, let’s not also forget that rush hour driving just isn’t suited to some people. If you generally don’t have patience and are prone to road rage, trying to understand traffic jams just isn’t going to work.
As such, try and come to an arrangement to avoid rush hour. It might be re-scheduling your meetings, or even talking with your place of work about altering your work hours. Nowadays, such flexible working isn’t uncommon.
Stick to the two-second rule
This next piece of advice is all about sticking to the two-second rule – which is something that you should have been taught since the very first day you started learning how to drive.
In short, there should always be a two-second gap between you and the car in front.
If you can concentrate on this, rather than attempting to gain as much ground as possible, you’ll find that you won’t be rushing around as much as you drive, and you are also less likely to annoy others on the road and reduce the chances of road rage.
This links to the initial inspiration we had to pen this post. In part, it was motivated by a piece by the RAC, which aimed to find out what type of driver you are (and ultimately identify those “everyday heroes” who are the angels of the road).
If you can stick to the basic road rules, you will soon find that you will fall into the said category!
Sometimes, it’s just about an apology
Let’s not forget that sometimes a lot of on-the-road stress is about your own mistakes, and then the subsequent responses from other drivers. It’s at this point that some people need to realize that an apology can go to extreme lengths.
In other words, acknowledging that you made a mistake to other drivers can actually eliminate road rage for all concerned – for the simple reason that most drivers just aren’t used to such actions.
So, the next time you pull out in front of someone and attempt to ignore their waving arms, perhaps realize that they will probably quite appreciate a subtle sign of apology and it will quickly diffuse the situation.
Quit the point-scoring game with tailgaters
As we all know, tailgaters can be one’s worst nightmare. Not only are they dangerous, but let’s not forget about the annoyance-factor here.
Nevertheless, attempt to give in to them at the first opportunity. Instead of following the “classic” tip of staying in-place and potentially annoying them more (and we all know what that can lead to), move over and let them pass.
Sure, it might not bring that immediate satisfaction, but it will eliminate the annoyance and also make the road a lot safer for everyone around you.