We’ve all lost our rag at some point when we’ve been on the road and there’s no shame in admitting it – we are only human after all. But, why is that we get so angry in the first place? Many of us have been faced with aggression from other road users which can vary from a brief exchange to full blown fighting –of course those that are aware of the strict laws in the UAE would be wise to control their temper, no matter what for the consequences can be dire.
There are several reasons why we get angry when we are driving; being cut off by rash drivers is one explanation, witnessing others not doing the basics like indicating when they wish to turn or change lanes is another and so on and so forth. There are other factors at play which can set us off, one such being stress. Be it due to pressures at work, or home or whatever, we carry a lot of anxiety within us but for some the very act of driving is traumatic - especially in cities with a lot of other cars around. In that heightened emotional state, it doesn't take much to tip someone over the edge. As a result, they may be primed for reacting at certain situations that provoke them in an angrier way than usual. Another factor is when we’re delayed; we usually get into our vehicles to reach a destination at a particular time (unless you’re just out for a drive) but when this is hampered by heavy traffic, too many red-lights or anything that impedes us from reaching our destination on time, these slow-downs can infuriate us.
So, what can you do to help you keep calm when you’re sharing the road with speedsters and tailgaters when you're just trying to make your commute in peace? The following steps have been proven to help and are advisable if you feel you’re getting angry when you’re driving:
Think about your actions:
It is hard to do but when the red mist is setting in and you want to give someone a mouthful just think about the potential results of your actions. You could hurt someone, damage your car, or end up in jail. So, rise above it all and be the bigger person.
Put some chilled music on:
Soothing music has been proven to help calm frayed nerves so listen to that rather than heavy metal, techno or anything else that makes you want to drive faster…
If you can feel yourself slipping into angry mode then before you have a meltdown, pull over to the side of the road, get out of your vehicle, take a few deep breaths and calm down. Shake off the rage and negativity and continue onwards with your journey.
Leave a bit earlier:
When we’re running late we tend to get frustrated and angry; but if you were to leave earlier than usual and have more time to get where you’re going without your teeth clenched, it could reduce the chances of you taking your anger out on someone else on the road.
Remember, your vehicle is not a weapon:
Please do not use your vehicle to intimidate others, no matter what the circumstances are. Making others uncomfortable on the road is a no-win situation – for you included. If you flash your headlights and tailgate others, it is a sign of destructive anger; you may have anger issues, and if so you need to work on them my friend…