How British Drivers Can Curb Their Road Rage
In 2014, research found that Britain is the worst place in Europe for road rage.
14:44 13 October 2016
In 2014, research found that Britain is the worst place in Europe for road rage; 81 per cent of British drivers have been on the receiving end of it, with 48 per cent saying they’ve been driven at aggressively as a result, which could be very dangerous. One in five British drivers has actually left the car to confront somebody. Clearly this is a major problem, but why is it happening and what can be done about it?
What is road rage?
Stress when driving is a common experience and doesn’t need to be a problem if the driver remains calm. It can result from dealing with difficult road conditions, difficult weather or difficult passengers – or simply things like having to concentrate when feeling ill. But sometimes stress can become overwhelming and boil over into rage. Some people seem more prone to this than others, and it has been suggested that witnessing angry behaviour from parents as a child can make an individual more susceptible. But road rage can be managed, if you know how.
Managing your road rage
- Don’t compete. Resist the urge to race against other drivers or get drawn into games of one-upmanship, even if they seem to be baiting you. Save that for video games when you get home.
- Take breaks. Don’t drive to the point where you feel exhausted and on edge. Break up long drives, stretch your legs and rehydrate - water or fruit juice will help you stay alert but calm.
- Listen to calming music. Just as some music can make you drive more aggressively, other music can help you take control of your mood and think of your car as a safe, relaxing space.
- Learn the symptoms. Everybody experiences stress differently. When you lose your temper, think back over the way your felt leading up to it. When you start to feel that way again, take preventative action.
- Breathe deeply. Take a deep breath, hold it, then let it our slowly. Repeating this a few times will slow your pulse and breathing, lower your adrenaline level and help you to feel like yourself again.
If you are a victim
No matter how careful you are about managing your temper on the road, you can still find yourself in trouble when other people lose theirs. If you’re caught up in a car accident caused by someone else’s road rage, there’s a good chance you could get compensation to help you deal with the consequences. There is a time limit on this, however, so you should look into your legal options as soon as you’ve reported the accident to the police and your insurer.
Taking steps to control your temper when driving helps to make the roads safer for everyone, and by understanding the problem you can also help those close to you to avoid getting out of control. Although the scale of the problem might seem daunting, it’s actually one of the easiest road risks to resolve.
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