Five tips to keep your cool while driving


0530traffic-600x394The best way to avoid road rage is to steer clear of its immediate causes. Don’t get trapped in situations where tempers flare and the car becomes a weapon.

1. Avoid traffic by leaving early and giving allowance to your travel time.

Use apps like Waze to estimate your journey ahead of time, then give plenty of allowance for important appointments.

Remember that traffic delays could pile on pretty quickly.

2. Listen to soothing music. Studies have shown that listening to aggressive music or not listening at all has been associated with increased blood pressure readings of drivers in a traffic jam.

Those who listened to “soothing songs” did not experience increase in blood pressure or heart rate. 

Whether it’s Norah Jones or the Beastie Boys whom you consider soothing, that’s up to you.

3. Drive purposefully and defensively. Drive well by keeping a safe distance from cars in front of you.

Keep up with other traffic without being aggressive. Avoid distractions like talking on the phone or fiddling with your apps while driving.

4. Avoid angering others by following traffic rules. Signal before you turn and before you change lanes. Don’t block other traffic by cutting into lanes and going onto the wrong side of the road.

5. Do not escalate tensions. If someone is being confrontational or aggressive, don’t make eye contact and don’t react visibly.

Let the other driver go on ahead. You might feel wronged, but letting the other party go will make no difference to the rest of your day.

Sorry helps. If you were at fault, admit it and apologise. If you feel upset or emotional, pull over and get some fresh air or walk around if you need to before resuming your journey.

Again, find some distraction, like listening to the radio—move your mind deliberately onto something else. Driving well would be a good example, but don’t dwell on the incident.

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