Friday, April 11, 2008

Road Rage and How to Avoid It.


We've all had moments of intense anger and frustration when driving. I myself have experienced several moments of rage that I am pretty embarrassed to admit to. With the increased amount of traffic and even less time available to everyone it's pretty damn easy to get fed up with the nearest driver out there. Stories of people pulling out baseball bats and guns isn't unusual anymore. In Canada road rage isn't that bad but there is still a huge potential for deadly incidents on the highway and city streets. So what's the best way to avoid getting into these situations? Follow my simple set of instructions and you will be having an easier time on your commute or vacation.

Time Management: Always ensure you leave with EXTRA time for your trip or commute. If there is a snow storm brewing out there, think about taking transit or leaving a half hour or hour earlier. Nothing stokes anger better than being stuck behind a slow poke and you are 20 minutes late for work. "How dare this person decide that their time is more valuable than my own" is one of the thoughts that strike my mind when this happens.

Music:I find that the louder the music, the quicker you drive. Resist the temptation to blast your music if you're at a red light. Nobody wants to hear Barry Manilow pounding through granny's K-car at the stop light. So don't think we all would love to hear the latest Hip hop, R&B, or DragonForce during a long 4 minute light. This may sound ridiculous, but talk radio is one of the radio shows that can help you REDUCE the road rage from burning within you.

Workout: Perhaps the best way to get rid of that aggression is to work out: Run, jog, beat a punching bag, use weights, treadmill, etc. Even the smallest weights will do - it doesn't matter if you only do push-ups - just get rid of that tension that builds up within you.

Listen: Everyone has an inner voice. It's that moment of time when you have this urge to speed around the crowd of slow pokes. But quietly, you hear a voice say "Don't do it". I know because it's happened to me. Last week I listened to this "voice" and discovered a police car was two vehicles behind me. Had I given in to the temptation of speeding I would have certainly earned an expensive speeding ticket.

Routes: Take driving routes with the least amount of aggravation. When I first was commuting I used to take this steep hill. But when I got rid of my piece of shit Chevy Cavalier and switched to a Subaru Impreza (Manual Transmission) - I found the hill climbs not only annoying but down right wearing on my clutch. Instead, I modified my route so I wouldn't HAVE to climb hills anymore. The result? A much easier and stress-free commute.

Patience: If someone flips you off or cuts into your lane, resist the temptation to flip them back. I know it sounds ridiculous at first, but believe me - your health is worth it. If someone is really aggravating you, change your route and calm down. The alternative is getting into a street fight where you will probably end up going to jail for severely injuring or killing the other driver. Believe me: It is NOT worth it.

Chill out and relax!

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