Prevent an Accident by Adjusting your Attitude
Road Rage is a Leading Causes of Accidents
Because the number of roads can’t keep up with the increasing number of cars, the incidence of road rage is becoming more rampant than ever. As congested roads leave drivers feeling cramped and helpless, emotions tend to heat up and behavior becomes offensive rather than defensive.
But there’s nothing we can do about the traffic, the road conditions, or even the behavior of other drivers and that means the thing we can do so we don’t contribute to all that negativity on roads and highways is to adjust our own attitude. You might think it won’t amount to much, but if everyone does it, then driving conditions would improve in a hurry. And in spite of traffic, maybe driving will not be as stressful or unsafe.
Here are 7 things you can do to keep yourself safer on the road
Plan ahead and leave early
Often, it’s the feeling that one is going to be late for something that makes a driver become edgy. When pressed for time, even the smallest problems or the most innocent circumstances can be magnified, making one feel that everything (from the traffic lights to the other drivers, the pedestrians, cyclists, road workers, the government and even the weather) is conspiring against him/her, and this can easily turn anxiety and frustration into irritation and anger. Driving while feeling such intense emotions is never good. The simplest solution is to give yourself ample time to get to where you’re going. If you know you have time to spare, you won’t feel as anxious.
Get enough rest
Tiredness and lack of sleep are an unhealthy combination because it can make anyone grumpy and irritable. On the road, that’s a recipe for disaster. Aside from lacking the mental alertness needed to focus on driving, it also becomes harder not to become irritated with the littlest things. So don’t drive when you’re tired or sleepy. Neither should you drive when you’re famished or parched.
Don’t think of yourself as ‘privileged’.
If you have a right to be on the road, so does everyone else. With this frame of mind, you’ll become more tolerant about other people’s mistakes and behavior. It will also make you more cautious and considerate when you’re not thinking that you’re the only one on the road who knows how to drive properly. You’ll find that you won’t be honking your horn as much. You probably won’t be changing lanes as often too.
Treat others the way you’d like to be treated
Practice kindness and common courtesies like letting someone merge, using your horn only when it’s really necessary, not tailgating, or not cutting anybody off. And if you make a mistake, make an ‘I’m sorry’ gesture, like a small wave. For some people, this simple acknowledgement is enough to diffuse a potentially tense situation.
Don’t take things personally
If a driver suddenly cuts you off or maybe honks loudly at you, however annoying it might be, don’t immediately assume that the driver is intentionally trying to get your goat. Maybe the driver had to avoid hitting something that was suddenly there, or maybe it’s an emergency, or maybe the driver is really out of focus. Whatever the reason for the behavior, you’ll always be on the losing end if you let yourself get annoyed.
Avoid hostile actions and try to stay calm
Don’t get into a staring contest or a shouting match with other drivers, especially the obviously angry ones. Rather than giving in to your anger, try calming yourself so you don’t aggravate the situation further. Slow and deep breathing can do wonders for your heightened emotions. But if you feel like you’re getting out of control, better just find a safe spot to pull over so you can stop driving even for just a few minutes to compose yourself.
Refrain from listening to wild and loud music
Although loud music might be your thing, when you’re driving, you might have to turn it down because such kind of music has the tendency to make you aggressive rather than calm. For a more relaxed drive, try listening to soft and mellow music instead.
Don’t Succumb to Road Rage
Patience is a virtue. You might think that it’s such a cliché. But when you’re on the road, you will find that this particular virtue might turn into a life-saver when instead of matching or mirroring the rage of someone who cut you off but has the gall to be the angry one, you just take a deep breath, shake your irritation off, and get on your way.
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, we don’t want you to have to use our services. But if you find yourself the victim of road rage, and you need to have the best auto body shop in Billings work on your vehicle, give us a call at 406-259-6328 and we can get your vehicle fixed up.