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Road rage get the best of you? Here’s how to keep your cool while driving

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Road rage to get the best of you? Here’s how to keep your cool while driving


Drivers swerve erratically while on their phones or swerve dangerously around other cars. The blast of horns keeps you on your toes as traffic builds. It’s enough to test anyone’s patience. In some cases, these feelings can lead to road rage, aggressive driving caused by stress or anger behind the wheel. It often happens when drivers feel neglected, like another car cutting them off, said Ryan Martin, professor of psychology and associate dean for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Some people take their anger out on the street, like speeding around a car or pulling over to fight, said Martin, author of “Why We Get Mad: How to Use Your Anger for Positive Change.” “Because they’re angry, frustrated, and irritated, they make worse decisions than they would otherwise,” he said, “and all of those bad decisions can lead to accidental injury, harm, or death.” Others bring the anxiety they feel at home or at work while driving, and something small can trigger them to drive aggressively, said Emanuel Robinson, a senior psychologist or research scientist for the Center for Human Performance and Safety at Battelle, a nonprofit organization that focuses on applied science and technology research. The Power of Anonymity Many drivers feel anonymous on the road, which leads them to take actions they might not otherwise take, Robinson said. of a line that just came in,” he said. “It would be very unusual.” People often adopt a driving persona that is more aggressive and rude than is socially acceptable because they don’t think they are recognizable and won’t see other drivers again. “Drivers can also be under the false impression that certain actions, such as braking to slow down and then accelerating, are easy and safe to do,” Martin said. The irony is that it’s not safe at all,” he said, “and there are very real consequences that can occur.”Calming Your Anger When you’re angry, it’s often hard to see a situation from a different perspective, Robinson said. In those moments , start by taking a deep breath and don’t respond immediately, he said. There’s also this idea where you assume the worst in others and blame their personality, Robinson said, instead of attributing faults to yourself to external factors.” cut me off because he is a bad person,” he said. “But if I cut someone off, I was wrong.” Listening to calm music or a podcast while driving can also be relaxing, Robinson said. It’s hard to get angry when you’re engrossed in a podcast because you’re focused on listening to it, he said. Finally, if freeway traffic is causing anger and stress, try taking a similar route on local roads with fewer cars if possible, Robinson said.Plan ahead If you notice a pattern of aggressive driving, you should come up with coping strategies before go out into the street, said Martin. “He said. Drivers can plan how to react in advance, Martin said. For example, if another driver cuts them off, they’ll tell themselves they’re the kind of person to let it go, he said. Additionally, leave early when driving to a destination to reduce the stress that can come from running late, Martin added. If you find yourself behind schedule, take deep breaths and avoid thoughts like, ‘Traffic is going to ruin my day,'” he said. “Yes, that’s frustrating, but it’s actually going to delay me,” Martin said to tell himself. you, “and that’s not the worst thing in the world.”

Drivers swerve erratically while on their phones or swerve dangerously around other cars. The blast of horns keeps you on your toes as traffic builds. It’s enough to test one’s patience.

In some cases, these feelings can lead to road rage, aggressive driving caused by anxiety or anger behind the wheel.

It often happens when drivers feel slighted, like another car cutting them off, said Ryan Martin, professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Some people express their anger in the street, such as speeding around a car or pulling over to fight, said Martin, author of “Why We Get Mad: How to Use Your Anger for Positive Change.”

“Because they’re angry, frustrated and irritated, they make worse decisions than they would otherwise,” he said, “and all of those bad decisions can lead to accidental injury, harm or death.”

Others bring the stress they feel at home or at work while driving, and something small can cause them to drive aggressively, said Emanuel Robinson, a psychologist and lead researcher and senior scientist for the Center for Human Performance and Safety at Battelle. The organization is a non-profit organization that focuses on applied science and technology research.

The power of anonymity

Many drivers feel anonymous on the road, which leads them to take actions they might not otherwise take, Robinson said.

“A person wouldn’t just walk to the front of a line they just walked into,” he said. “It would be very unusual.”

Often people adopt a driving persona that is more aggressive and rude than is socially acceptable because they believe they are unrecognizable and will never see other drivers again.

Drivers may also have a false sense that certain actions, such as hitting the brakes to slow down and then speeding away, are easy and safe to do, Martin said.

“The irony is that it’s not safe at all,” he said, “and there are very real consequences that can occur.”

Calming your road rage

When you’re angry, it’s often hard to see a situation from a different perspective, Robinson said. In those moments, start by taking a deep breath and don’t respond immediately, she said.

There’s also this idea where you assume the worst in others and blame their personality, Robinson said, rather than attributing flaws in yourself to external factors.

“This person cut me off because they are a bad person,” he said. “But if I cut someone, I was wrong.”

Listening to relaxing music or podcasts while driving can also be relaxing, Robinson said. It’s hard to get mad when you’re engrossed in a podcast because you’re focused on listening to it, he said.

Finally, if freeway traffic is causing you anger and stress, try taking a similar route on local roads with fewer cars if possible, Robinson said.

Planning in advance

If you notice a pattern of aggressive driving, you should come up with coping strategies before you hit the road, Martin said.

“Driving is one of the worst times to try to deal with your anger because you’re not thinking clearly,” he said.

Drivers can plan ahead how to react, Martin said. For example, if another driver cuts them off, they’ll tell themselves they’re the kind of person who lets it go, he said.

Additionally, leave earlier when driving to a destination to reduce the stress that can come from running late, Martin added.

If you’re behind schedule, take deep breaths and avoid thoughts like, ‘Traffic is going to ruin my day,’ she said.

“Yeah, that’s disappointing, but it’s actually going to delay me,” Martin told himself, “and that’s not the worst thing in the world.”

Road rage get the best of you? Here’s how to keep your cool while driving Source link Road rage get the best of you? Here’s how to keep your cool while driving

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