Does your daily commute cause your blood pressure to spike? A survey by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder found that 58% of commuters have experienced road rage, and nearly one in 10 has gotten into a fight. What’s more, incidents of road rage appear to be more prevalent among women. Here are a few pointers for keeping calm behind the wheel:
ALLOW AMPLE TIME
Road rage is most often associated with running late and long commutes, the study found. Simply planning ahead can ease the morning rush — for instance, by setting out your clothes and preparing lunches the night before. Provide some leeway for unexpected delays by setting the alarm clock 15 minutes earlier as well.
STEER CLEAR OF IRRITABLE OTHERS
Don’t engage other drivers with quick tempers. If drivers are tailgating and angling to get ahead, let them. Suppress the impulse to match their aggression. Take deep breaths and keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Safety should be your number one concern.
SOOTHE YOUR MIND
Most cars already have important relaxation tools built in: a radio, CD player or mp3 player adaptor. Forgo anxiety-causing traffic-and-news updates in favor of quiet music or an audio book.
And finally, consider forgoing driving altogether. Many urban areas now cater to bicycle commuters. Or, explore nearby public transit options. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that you can read, get a bit of work done or even nap on the way to work.