You might decide to travel this year. Maybe you’re going to take a work-related trip, or you might go on vacation. You may take the whole family to see some relatives who live a few states away.
Covid-19 is still an issue, but vaccines are widely available now. If you get one, you will be in much better shape to survive and only suffer mild symptoms if you expose yourself to the coronavirus. That’s a combination many people feel works for them enough so they’re willing to risk out-of-state travel.
If you decide to drive, that can save you money versus flying. Also, if you drive, you don’t have to be on an airline with other individuals you don’t know. If you are in the car with your family, you won’t even have to wear a mask.
However, if you drive, you should make sure road rage is not an issue for you. It is for many people, and road rage can lead to violent or even deadly confrontations with other drivers.
Let’s talk about ways to avoid road rage while traveling this year.
Count to Ten
You might not realize how bad of an issue road rage is in America. AAA conducted a study where they identified one week where road rage caused 218 deaths.
That’s alarming and an indication of how widespread the problem is. If you feel like you’re about to have a road rage incident, like when someone cuts you off in traffic as you’re traveling, you can count to ten slowly instead of reacting.
While you count, either in your head or out loud, you can think about how you’re being an adult, and you’re handling the situation responsibly. If your family is in the car with you, they will be proud of how you are conducting yourself.
Take Some Long, Slow Breaths
You can also handle a road rage incident by taking several long, deep breaths instead of reacting. Your normal response might be to give the other driver the middle finger, shout at them, or gesture out the window. All of these are actions that might lead to the other driver pulling out a gun or some other weapon.
If you can remind yourself that you decided to exercise self-control instead of flying off the handle, that will be the best thing in this critical moment. You can start deeply inhaling and exhaling. If you started the journey anticipating that something like this might happen, you can be ready to respond this way if something occurs that upsets you.
You Can Repeat a Phrase to Yourself
Some drivers who have road rage issues like to see a therapist to talk about it. Therapy can be the answer when you keep having meltdowns in the car, either while traveling or in your day-to-day life.
While you’re at those therapy sessions, your counselor might tell you that you can repeat a phrase to yourself like a mantra at times when you’re in the car and you feel yourself losing control. The mantra can be a nonsense word or phrase that you make up. It might be a phrase like “keep calm and carry on” or something along those lines.
What you say doesn’t matter so much as how you say it. You can practice saying it at home before you go on your trip. You can repeat it while lying on your bed with your eyes closed, so your mind will know to go back to a tranquil state if you start saying it in the car.
You Can Pull Over and Calm Down
You might decide if you can feel a road rage incident bubbling beneath the surface that the optimal thing to do is pull over to the side of the road and wait until your feelings pass. Maybe you can find the nearest rest stop and get yourself a cold drink. You can walk around a bit until you feel calmer and ready to resume the drive.
Whatever you decide to do, you need to have a way of coping with your road rage triggers if you’re going to go on a lengthy car trip this year. Travel should be fun, not stressful.
If you know that you have had road rage incidents in the past, you should be mentally ready for them to happen again. This time, though, you will not submit to your feelings, and you will handle the stress maturely and responsibly.