Handling Post-Lockdown Road Rage
Driving is a fundamental part of many people’s daily routines. While COVID-19 disrupted this routine for many, commuters are once again hitting the road each morning and evening. A return to normalcy is indeed a relief, but for some motorists, the increased traffic can cause tensions to rise. Given the unpredictable nature of the last year, many drivers may feel hesitant to get back on the road. If you’re nervous about the road rage plaguing our streets and highways, keep these tips in mind as you commute:
- Prepare Your Car. If your vehicle has been sitting idle for most of the last year, it may be in need of a tune-up. Check your battery, your tires, and clean and disinfect your interiors. This can set you up for success on the road – whatever may come your way.
- Plan Ahead. As commuting becomes part of your daily routine again, take some time to consider the ways in which you can reduce stress along your route. You may need to wake up a bit earlier, tune into traffic reports again, and leave yourself some extra time to stop for coffee or gas. By planning ahead, you can reduce your own stress and set yourself up for a successful commute.
- Minimize Distractions. Distracted driving has become an increasingly dangerous problem through the years. Road rage often stems from minor mistakes made by motorists who aren’t paying as close attention to the road as they should be. Keep your cell phone out of reach, adjust the radio before shifting into drive, and stay focused on the road.
- Don’t Take Road Rage Personally. If you do find yourself in an encounter with an angry motorist, try not to take it personally. Instead, pull over and let them pass you by. While you might be tempted to speed around them or shake your fist in anger, such actions can make a bad situation worse.
- Find a Safe Place to Stop. While rare, some instances of road rage can lead to one driver following another. If you find yourself in pursuit, navigate to the nearest police station. Road rage attacks can turn violent, so it’s best to involve the authorities if you’re in fear of your safety.
The Bottom Line
It’s impossible to predict how the drivers around us might behave on the road. While we might not be able to control the motorists around us, we can take steps to set ourselves up for as stress-free a commute as possible. By preparing your vehicle, planning ahead, and minimizing distractions, we can all help make our roads and highways just a little bit safer for everyone.
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