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4 Ways to Prevent Road Rage

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You’re driving to work on a Thursday morning, running late because you had to turn around 10 minutes into your commute because you forgot to close your garage door, and you’re stuck behind a little hybrid going 12 mph under the speed limit. You can feel your blood start to boil as you begin to tailgate him, yelling obscenities at his rear bumper through your windshield.

Road rage is a growing problem for all of us. We want to be at our destination as quickly as possible, and when someone or something gets in the way of that, we get upset. But here’s the thing: road rage can be dangerous. It can cause reckless driving, which leads to higher numbers of accidents. Fortunately, there are several ways to combat road rage for a safer daily commute.

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Plan to leave 10 minutes earlier each day

If you find yourself stressing about making it to work on time, any bump in the road is going to foster your road rage. Plan your morning so you can leave the house 10 minutes earlier than usual; even if you don’t leave a full 10 minutes early every day, you’re more likely to make it to work on time (even if you forgot to close the garage door again).

Listen to podcasts

Sitting in traffic or driving snail-speed behind another car is even more frustrating when it’s the only thing you have to focus on. Before you leave the house, put on a podcast or an audio book. This way, when you run into unavoidable stressors on the road, you’ll be able to listen to your podcast and get your mind off of your frustrations.

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Avoid eye contact

As tempting as it might be to zoom past the slow car in front of you and give them a dirty look, don’t. The same rule applies if you’re being tailgated and the person behind you zooms past you. Avoid making eye contact with angry drivers; they’re likely to increase your anger, too.

Pull over

If you find your blood truly beginning to boil, consider pulling over and taking a moment to collect yourself. Find a safe place to stop, such as a parking lot, and breathe for a few minutes before getting back on the road. It’s better to stop and reduce your anger than to act irrationally on the road and put yourself (and others) at risk.

Sources: Edmunds, U.S. News