What sort of driver are you when you are out on the road? Are you carefree, angry, happy, relaxed… or does it depend on the day or who is in the car… do you even care???
For some reason completely normal people when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle transform. This inner demon materialises the moment anyone wrongs them when driving on their road. For these angry drivers suddenly a few seconds become all important.
Any other road user who is too slow; changed into their lane blocking them; too slow off the lights; indicates late; and the list goes on.
Basically anyone who does something on the road that the demon possessed drivers view as a personal wrong against them. This is their road, all other users should give way to them or move as they do. Any deviation or interruption or delay the solution is hot rage.
Honk the horn, tail gate, yell swear, flash lights, following the car – anything to feed that pulsing rage which becomes part of the driving demon outlet known as ROAD RAGE. Now think, do you see this behaviour when you are out on the road and shake your head? Or are you that person? If so how far will your rage lead you? For some that rage takes an even scarier turn all of sudden with the driver exiting the vehicle in their demon possessed state to inflict physical violence on other road users.
Is that road rage really worth it for a little indiscretion? Now consider, for many people the driving commute is how you start and finish the day. If during the commute you become that demon possessed driver this anger will flow into your daily life.
So the question then becomes what sort of person do you want to be? So when you get into car, instead of raging how about applying the following strategies to use when you feel that demon coming on:
- Don’t get into your car in an emotional state (e.g., angry, upset, frustrated). Driving in an emotional state can increase your crash risk by almost 10-fold! If you are anger prone, try to recognize these feelings building up and avoid driving when you do.
- Expect traffic delays every time you get into your car. Plan ahead and leave early to avoid time pressured driving.
- Turn on the radio to your favourite music station or put on a podcast and enjoy the ride. Just remember to wind the windows up as you belt out a tune if your voice is like mine!
- Focus on the task at hand – getting to your destination as safely as possible. Driving involves a lot of complex decision-making. Having something to focus on will take your mind off any feelings of frustration and on to your driving.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is well known that being under the influence can increase your risk of a crash and can also make some people more anger prone.
- Practice mindfulness to help you adopt a more adaptive focus while driving.
Have you been subject to road rage or do you have strategies to subdue your driving demon?
If you are concerned about Road Rage NRSPP has developed a Tool Box Talk to provide guidance to assist organisations in helping their workers avoiding being the focus of road rage and tips to keep the demon at bay.