Keep Calm and Commute On: Reducing Road Rage

Reducing Road Rage

Staying calm on the road is hard to do, especially when people are constantly cutting you off, not using turn signals, and texting instead of keeping their eyes on the road. At the same time, you don’t want to make other people on the road mad either. It could spark an intense road rage that ends up with someone getting seriously hurt or even killed. Here’s how to avoid all of that and stay safe on the road.


Use Cruise Control

A great way to curb the urge to smack someone on the road for going too fast or slow is to use cruise control and stay in the proper lane for your speed. Cruise control lets you “chill out” while you’re on the road. It also helps reduce the severity and rate of traffic jams. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that don’t use it.

But, the research is pretty convincing. By using cruise control at highway speeds, or on single-lane roads, can dramatically reduce or eliminate slowdowns and traffic jams.

Listen To Soothing Music

Listening to classical music, or music that’s soothing, can also help if you’re out on the road and people are whizzing by you fast and furiously. There’s more research showing that calm music can sooth hot tempers.

The study in question was performed as a joint effort between Phillips Research Labs in Eindhoven (the Netherlands), and Stanford University in California. Researchers found that making rapid changes from upbeat or aggressive music to more mellow and soft music promoted a more calm demeanor in drivers and reduced stress levels.

Subjects sat in driving simulators that were programmed to mimic a variety of driving situations. What researchers found amazed them. Subjects who listened to upbeat music while driving experienced more stress during stressful driving conditions and, when the music was switched to mellow music, stress levels changed rapidly.

This indicates that mellow music is good for stressful driving situations. Of course, there are many other factors that can influence driving behaviors while listening to music. You can click here if you want to know more.

Refresh Your Understanding Of The Rules Of The Road

Rules of the road – what are they? Do you know who has the right of way at a stop sign? What about the rules when it comes to passing and driving on the highway? Do you know what the left lane is really for? Most people need a refresher.

If you find yourself drifting into the left lane on the highway and just hanging out there, stop it. The left lane is always for passing, except on multi-lane highways where one lane is usually designated for passing or faster traffic (the extreme left lane).

Right of way rules are also something most people need to re-familiarize themselves with. If you’re unsure, spend some time on your State’s DMV site and read up on the rules. Not only will it make you a more informed driver, you’ll be less stressed out about driving on the roads because you’ll be driving the right way.

Practice Good Parking Etiquette

Don’t cut people off when they’re trying to park. Instead, signal for a space that you want. If it’s already being taken, move on to the next one. If you find yourself chronically late, leave 5 to 10 minutes early. Set a timer or alarm if you have to. With the ubiquitous nature of smartphones, there’s no excuse not to.

You could also try parking far away from the building. Hardly anyone parks far away from their destination. But, it’s a good way to get some much-needed exercise. You also get time to cool off about the guy who cut you off while turning into the parking lot.

Back Away From Aggressive Drivers

When you notice people driving aggressively, get away from them. This is your best defense against getting caught up in the drama of road rage.

Back Away From Texters

Ditto for texters. Texting while driving is illegal in many states. Yet, many people still do it. If you find yourself pulling up alongside of someone who is distracted, speed up or get behind them.

What’s Being Done To Curb Road Rage?

In some states, cameras are being used to spot road rage. Offenders can be ticketed with traffic cams. Street lights may talk you down from a fight too. And, some auto-makers are joining in on the fight and designing smart in-car systems that automatically adjust the cruise control for you, avoiding excessive speed, braking, and an explosion of emotion.

Keith Kofsky, Esq, likes to help people avoid the heartbreak of personal injury. An attorney of over 30 years, he enjoys providing information to protect his readership. You can read his illuminating articles on various websites online.