Spending time behind the wheel of your vehicle can cause tension. If you regularly feel that you get angry while driving, that anger could lead to road rage (and potential legal problems). Statistics show that half of all drivers who are the target of road rage retaliate with aggressive behaviors of their own.
Here are three simple things you can do to avoid becoming involved in a potentially dangerous road rage incident in the future.
1. Listen to the right kind of music while on the road.
The car makes a great place to listen to your favorite songs, but the music you choose to listen to can affect your mood. Upbeat music with a strong baseline can create a physiological response, causing you to feel more agitated. This increased agitation can lead to road rage, but doing something as quickly switching the station when you feel an episode of rage road coming on could be a good solution.
A study conducted by Stanford University found that rapidly changing from upbeat to soothing music while behind the wheel caused a rapid decline in stress levels. Soothing music can also help eliminate driving mistakes, which can be the cause of road rage incidents.
2. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep.
The number of hours you spend sleeping each night can have a dramatic impact on your ability to resist a display of road rage. Researchers have studied the effects of sleeplessness on mood, and both correlational and experimental studies show that a lack of sleep leads to increased anger, hostility, and irritability.
When you are tired you might find it more difficult to overlook the minor mistakes made by drivers around you, and your subsequent road rage could land you in big legal trouble. Get enough sleep to help you manage your road rage in the future.
3. Control your mind with cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques.
Relaxation is the key to avoiding feelings of road rage, and you can use cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques to train your mind to become more relaxed. The next time you feel yourself becoming angry while behind the wheel, start breathing deeply from your diaphragm.
Establishing a slow and steady breathing rhythm will help you calm your body. You can also try repeating a calming word or phrase to yourself. Combining this self-talk with your breathing exercises will help you prevent your anger from escalating to full-blown road rage in the future.
Learning to control your road rage will help you avoid potential legal problems (like a reckless driving violation) and keep the roadways safer in the future. Contact a firm like Walsh Fewkes Sterba, or another location, for help from a traffic lawyer.