You’re stuck in traffic on your way home from work and a cheeky bugger skips the queue, cutting in – what do you do? Beep your horn? Make rude gestures?
Knowing how to overcome road rage is a rare thing, with most people dismissing it as just another part of modern driving in the UK.
However, road rage can lead to dangers on the roads and boil over into the workplace.
According to the RAC, almost half (43%) of UK drivers had been victims of road rage in 2018.
To make matters worse, the Department for Transport’s figures from 2018 showed that 5,283 people were either killed or injured in collisions as a result of aggressive driving!
If you’re guilty of letting your emotions run high behind the wheel on your commute to and from work, check out this handy guide.
What does road rage have to do with work?
The problem with road rage, or any other form of anger, is that it can easily dictate your next actions.
If you’re heading to work and you go into work angry, you may end up acting out of turn or saying something inappropriate.
Similarly, if you experience road rage on your way home, your poor family may get the brunt of it.
In many ways, knowing how to handle road rage is the same as knowing how to deal with a challenging situation at work.
When your boss dumps a load of work on your desk towards the end of the day, how do you react?
Or if a client decides to make your life difficult, have you got the patience to listen and solve their issue?
It’s a mental process of managing situations effectively, seeing the bigger picture and taking the high-ground.
Here’s how you can get a grip on road rage and tricky situations at work.
6 tips on how to prevent road rage on your commute
It may seem simple, but if you’re running late for work, you’ll start to make rash decisions and act differently.
The clock is your most powerful tool for preventing road rage on your commute.
To sweeten the deal, you can even set time aside to pick up a coffee or bite to eat as a reward for being early.
Incentivising good time-keeping is a useful tip and will make the world of difference when you step out of your car and into the office.
Listen to the right tunes
Listening to some tunes on the way to work is a staple for a lot of us, but are you picking the wrong genre?
In a blog posted by Admiral, they revealed that singing reduces stress and is a natural anti-depressant.
Listening to classical music is another way of keeping yourself relaxed.
However, if you love your rock, hip-hop and heavy metal, you’re more likely to tailgate, speed and get into traffic accidents.
Ignorance is bliss
Sometimes road rage is caused by other’s road rage.
The remedy? Ignore them.
If you’ve made a mistake on the road or can sense someone is being hostile, just look ahead and focus on the road (like you should).
Road rage builds when others engage in it.
Stay focused and treat your car as your own little bubble.
Nobody with bad vibes can disturb you.
Talk yourself down
In your moment of rage, take a moment to ask yourself, “Would I gain anything from becoming angry?” It’s about recognising what’s important to you and seeing the bigger picture.
Retaliating to someone else’s mistake by tailgating them or swearing at them can cause a crash. What’s the point?
If you have an exciting project on at work, think about that.
Or if you’re trying to unwind after a tough day at work, focus on how nice it will be to see your family when you get home.
Yes, anger creates irrational behaviour or a rush of blood to the head, if you will.
But talking yourself down out loud can make the whole thought process real and enable you to see sense.
Swap music for podcasts on your commute to and from work.
Not only can it help prevent road rage, but you can learn something in the process too!
The Mindful Podcast focuses on giving you a simple form of meditation to allow you to become present in what’s going on without feeling overwhelmed.
BBC Radio 4’s Soul Music is another fantastic podcast to look into.
Each episode explores one song and what it means to different people from around the world.
It’s powerful and moving.
Ted Radio Hour can help inspire you when you’re behind the wheel.
Taking interviews and talks snippets from the fascinating TED conferences that happen around the world, this podcast will help you discover new insights and gain a broader outlook on life.
One that doesn’t care about small matters on the road.
Take public transport
If none of the previous methods of preventing road rage work for you, maybe it’s time to think about taking public transport.
Yes, trains and buses can be delayed, but at least you don’t have to sit in traffic and deal with other pesky drivers!
It’s a lot better for the environment and you can use the time to be productive too.
- Work on a new project in your head or on paper.
- Do puzzles and crosswords.
- Play educational mobile app games.
- Plan your day ahead.
For more inspiration on how to make your work commute productive, read our handy guide.
Enjoyed reading this?
We have plenty of other blogs based on your daily commute.
Here are a few of my picks:
- 8 Commutes You’ll Be Glad You Don’t Do!
- 39 of the Worst Commuter Habits [Infographic]
- 5 Productive Things You Can Do On Your Work Commute
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