No matter how mild your manners are, driving has a tendency to bring out the worst in us. Nearly 80% of Canadians admit to driving behaviour that could be deemed as road rage according to a Kanetix study. The poll suggests:
- 40% of drivers use profanity during traffic.
- 20% of drivers tailgate while driving
- Drivers aged 18 to 34 are most guilty of cutting people off while driving
- Seeing other drivers distracted is the most common road rage trigger.
- Men tend to get road rage when they are cut off in traffic while women tend to get road rage when they are running late.
Typical road rage behaviour includes making rude gestures, driving in an unsafe manner and making threats. These actions lead to roadside altercations, assaults, and even death.
According to The Vancouver Sun, a California woman was recently charged with murder in what police said was a road rage killing of a motorcyclist on a freeway. She allegedly rammed her car into the back of the victim’s motorcycle and then drove over him.
Here are some tips on how to reduce your stress behind the wheel.
- Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep per night results in feelings of annoyance, resentment and even anger. Adults who get fewer than seven hours of sleep have more difficulty concentrating than people who sleep seven to nine hours per night.
- Be punctual and plan ahead. People who are late for work and/or appointments try to make up time while on the road. Add 15 minutes to your travel allotment and you’ll have time for gas, traffic and construction.
- Remember that you are not anonymous while driving. Police can charge road ragers with offences such as reckless driving which can lead to fines and higher insurance rates.
- Remember your manners. According to Edmunds, drivers should use restaurant etiquette while driving. While it’s upsetting when a stranger is rude or cuts in line in a restaurant or store, most people wouldn’t lose their cool and become abusive as a result.
- Treat fellow drivers how you would like to be treated. Dr. Leon James, author of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving, says that remembering simple courtesies, like allowing someone to merge or apologizing when we make a mistake, can prevent road rage.