As a professional driver, traffic jams are just part of the day job. But the more congested the roads, the more stressful the driving experience.
Unfortunately, where there’s stress there’s the potential for road rage. It’s alarmingly common. A report by AAA revealed that 80% of drivers experience some kind of aggression behind the wheel.
These feelings of anger can either manifest as people dramatically coming to blows on the roadside, or the more passive version (read: hand gestures, honking, and tailgating).
These aggressive actions are also part of the job for truckers, but in large doses can create a huge amount of stress while driving.
Want to know how to reduce stress while driving? Here are five ways you can reduce stress and the risk of road rage.
1 Lower your expectations
No driver is perfect. If that were the case, there would never be a traffic accident ever again. To avoid road rage, we all need to lower our expectations a bit. Be prepared for the fact that at some point someone will cut you up. Then, when it does happen, you’ll be less angry.
2 We all make mistakes
Truckers know better than anyone, it can take seconds for something to go wrong. Everyone behind the wheel is only human and we all have things going on in our lives. Mistakes happen, and empathy in these situations can a long way.
3 Some things are out of your control
As much as we would like to, no one can control the actions of other drivers. All we can do is control how we react to them. Tried-and-tested calming techniques include deep breathing and counting to ten. Honestly, they can do wonders for your blood pressure.
4 Go slow
Most truckers know it’s safer to travel about three miles slower than other drivers in heavy traffic. It gives cars more space to get in front of you rather than cutting you up.
5 Listen to podcasts
I don’t mean listening to stress-busting calming podcasts – I mean any podcast that will keep your attention and interest. If podcasts aren’t your thing, then put together a playlist of your favourite tunes.
As a trucker, driving is your job. It’s how you earn a salary (although thinking about the measly wages is enough to induce a sense of rage in itself). Do what you can to stay happy behind the wheel and keep feelings off road rage at bay.