5 ways to conquer stressful driving

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Road rage, it can get us all. From a quiet tut, to an unnecessary hand gesture, we all react in different ways.

But sometimes road rage can go too far.

Neil Worth, GEM Motoring Assist’s road safety officer, explained why some drivers let stress take over.

He said: “Some drivers believe it’s acceptable to behave on the road in a way they would never dream of behaving in other areas of their lives. This is most likely because being in the car has the effect of dehumanising a situation of conflict.

“We tend to ignore the risk of possible consequences, either to ourselves or to other road users, so we allow our frustration and anger to be directed at those who get in our way or whose driving actions displease us.”

Thankfully, GEM has come up with 5 pieces of advice for drivers looking to fight road rage and stay calm behind the wheel.

  1. Show restraint – Before any journey, long or short, pledge to be patient and show restraint. And (kind of) similarly to that classic Oasis song, don’t use your horn in anger.
  1. Avoid competition – If someone else’s driving doesn’t meet your standards, don’t look to educate them, and avoid any competition.
  1. Don’t push into traffic – As tempting as it may be to push into traffic, resist, wait and signal clearly – someone will let you in. Pushing in is, unsurprisingly, likely to anger whoever you push in front of.
  1. Be courteous – Say thank you to the kind driver that eventually lets you into traffic. If something goes wrong, say sorry. It’s a simple way to defuse a potential situation.
  1. Move away from trouble – If you ever feel threatened by the actions of another driver, move away to a safe area at a steady speed. GEM recommends going to your nearest police station or petrol station forecourt, or any other busy area. Call the police and remain calm.

This advice comes from GEM’s ‘Courtesy on the Road’ leaflet, which you can find on its website.

Think you’re the perfect driver and know all the rules of the road? Have a go at our Road Rule-ette game and see how you fare.

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