Frustration, irritability, and impatience are the leading causes of reckless driving. We’ve all been in situations where we’re so fed up that we bend the rules in order to get away from traffic. Unfortunately, some of us take that bending to the breaking point, which can lead to serious consequences. This is why it is good to know how to control your frustrations and cool your temper (especially in the summer), to keep yourself from breaking the rules—or even worse, getting caught and charged with reckless driving.
- Avoid stressful traffic. Try taking back roads instead of crowded highways (especially at rush hour).
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to become extremely irritable; always have cold water in your car on hot days, especially if you anticipate a long drive. Stick with water if possible—coffee, soft drinks, and soda aren’t as hydrating as good old fashioned H2O.
- Keep cool. Open windows, turn on your air conditioning, or put something cool on your neck; when hot, your body mimics the effects of anger—elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, and an overall feeling of agitation and misery. This can cause you to react recklessly and make poor decisions.
- Increase airflow. Stale or stagnant air can be difficult to breathe and cause increased stress, claustrophobia, and high blood pressure. This can cause your body to instinctively revert to the fight or flight pattern of road rage.
- Keep a warm-weather traffic kit in your car. Avoid added stress by keeping the kids busy with activities to ward off crankiness. Keep extra water and food such as granola bars, dried fruit, and nuts to help curb hunger and low blood sugar that can contribute to stress and road rage. Cooling packs or alcohol wipes are also useful to help cool the backs of necks and lower body temperatures.
Venting Your Frustrations
Does your road rage increase in the summer? Do you find that you make more reckless driving decisions when you're hot? How do you cope with it? Let us know your thoughts and experiences by venting in the comment section provided. We’d also love to hear about any concerns or questions you may have about your driving rights.