How to Not Suffer from Road Rage

Road rage is very dangerous for both the aggressor and the victim. This is easy to remember when you are NOT driving during rush hour or stuck in traffic but when you are, there are some steps you can take to avoid or minimize the occurrence of your potentially deadly behavior.


  1. Image titled Not Suffer from Road Rage Step 1
    Identify your triggers. Do you notice that you get road rage more often when listening to a fast/aggressive song? Do certain intersections or driving behaviors set you off?
    • Often feeling pressed for time while being on the receiving end of someone else's careless driving is enough to test the patience of the most stout driver.
    • By identifying your triggers, you can work to overcome them. Listening to slow jazz or classical music might help soothe your nerves, leaving early or calling ahead when pressed for time might ease your burden. Instead of attempting to cross three rows of traffic and being irate the rest of the trip, perhaps taking a slightly longer but more peaceful route is worth your time investment.
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    Identify your own bad driving habits. In rush hour or not, pressed for time or running early, be conscious of your own errors in judgement. Have you sometimes forgotten about the merge lane from construction or forgot that one lane has become a turn only lane? Realizing that you are not perfect helps in remembering that the other drivers are not perfect either. Especially if they commit the mistakes in the same areas that you do.
    • Try tallying your mistakes. Pay special attention to how many mistakes you make when you are too emotional (be it angry, sad, or happy). Even if you only make one driving mistake per trip, think about how many drivers there are, in all the different states of mind and how many mistakes are bound to occur.
  3. Image titled Not Suffer from Road Rage Step 3
    Check your driving posture. Sit up straight and alert, not hunched forward and tense. Relax your shoulders and smooth the knit in your brow. Posture is enough to trigger the adrenaline and shorten your patience. Every red light or every time you are aware of it, check your posture.
  4. Image titled Not Suffer from Road Rage Step 4
    Learn to drive defensively, NOT offensively. This driving technique will give you insight into potential driving dangers and ways to avoid them. You also might learn that some drivers are not purposefully trying to slow YOU down but to avoid a potential accident that will slow everyone down.
    • Defensive driving is better for your safety and for your vehicle, which should be the priority instead of getting somewhere first or punishing another driver.
  5. Image titled Not Suffer from Road Rage Step 5
    Learn to enjoy the drive. Easier said than done but find little things that let you reclaim your sense of peace and/or humor.
    • Start singing (even purposefully horribly) on your way to work.
    • Make obviously goofy faces when driving or just think about people's reactions if you did it.
    • At stop lights, do isometric abdominal exercises or shoulder rolls. Count the number of drivers being the aggressive/road rage driver you used to be.


  • If you are feeling particularly angry, pull over and calm down or let the other driver go ahead of you. Better to see the erratic driver in front of you and be able to react, than to have nowhere to go if they come up behind you.
  • Remember driving (unless you are in NASCAR or Formula or other type of prize winning competition on a closed track) is not a race for prestige. It is a method of traveling from point A to point B. The goal is to safely make it to point B.
  • Remember you don't sit at home and decide to drive in traffic for fun, so the person next to you isn't likely to be either. Everyone has different destinations, emotions, physical states and abilities, so unless you personally know the driver of the other car, their driving behavior is not aimed at you personally.

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Categories: Defensive Driving Skills & Safety