How to avoid becoming an aggressive driver
We all get impatient at times. Who among us hasn’t had a rough day, suffered setbacks, gotten angry or upset or frustrated? In order to prevent our emotions from propelling us into aggressive driving behavior, take heed of the following.
- Be courteous and exercise patience whenever you’re behind the wheel. That extra few seconds you think you save by ducking in and out of lanes, honking the horn at other drivers won’t really get you there any faster.
- Make it a practice never to drive when you’re too tired, are upset or angry. Take 20 minutes or a half hour to allow your emotions to smooth out before you drive.
- Give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. This is good advice at all times, since you never know what you might encounter on the road. Traffic congestion, accidents, bad weather, road closures or repairs – any of them could slow you up and prompt you to become more aggressive to make up for lost time. Adding 10 to 15 minutes into your schedule to account for the unexpected will also help prevent a tendency toward aggressive driving.
- If you know your daily drive or the route you’re about to take is always congested or is likely to be, change your route to one that is less jammed up. Here’s where real-time traffic alerts can be a timesaver and help you avoid becoming overly aggressive behind the wheel.
- Soothing music or listening to an audio book or something on tape can help calm your frazzled nerves.
- Everybody makes mistakes on the road at one time or another. We’ve all done it, so why not give the other driver the benefit of the doubt.
- Above all, even if you are in the right and the other driver is in the wrong, avoid all conflict. It won’t solve anything to get into a confrontation, and it could just escalate beyond your control.
One final recommendation applies to parents and other family members who drive. In order to prevent your children from becoming aggressive drivers when it comes time for them to get their driving licenses, make sure that you act as a good role model behind the wheel. If your children see you driving aggressively, they’ll begin to believe that this is the way to deal with situations on the road.
On the other hand, courteous and polite driving behavior, obeying traffic laws, using common sense and acting in a proactive and non-aggressive manner will display the right way to act behind the wheel.