When Road Rage Strikes - 4 Tips to Stay Cool in Trucking Life
Anyone who drives anything has experienced some form of frustration on the road at one time or another, but those of us in the commercial driving industry may experience more than most. We are always one moment away from our beautiful big rig becoming an ugly innocent victim killer. Sometimes all it takes is some unpleasant news from home or a unforeseen delay in your lane to put a driver on edge. Add to that some people out on the road that are actually trying to cause trouble and the risk of road rage multiplies. However, we all know that letting our emotions overtake us while we are driving has all kinds of risks – and none are worth it.
Road rage has been defined as aggressive or violent behavior stemming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger at the actions of another motorist. Aggressive driving is often at the stem of road rage incidents and these can include speeding, honking, flashing headlights, tailgating, not using turn signals and hand gestures. Make a mental note when you find yourself engaging in any of these types of behavior that the risk of road rage is high and it is time to sit back, take a breath and use some of our tips to avoid an incident which could have horrendous and life-changing consequences.
Don’t internalize road issues. Be the calm eye of the storm and don’t engage. Whether it’s bad weather, crazy drivers or grouchy people, take a step back and remove yourself. You don’t have to get emotionally involved in every challenge or problem. Just do your job, take a look around, and don’t react.
Reduce your stress before you drive. Get proper sleep, eat good food and stay hydrated. How you feel before you start your vehicle will dictate the tone of your ride.
Pay attention to the road you are on. Not only is it easy to become distracted by road conditions, other drivers and sites along the way, it is just as easy to become distracted by things in your truck (phone, food, music) so try to keep those distractions to a minimum.
Practice courteous driving. Rising above the fray and treating other drivers with respect (no matter whether they actually deserve it or not) is a healthy habit that will not only keep you safe but uphold the superhero image of truck drivers for us all.