With a number of train strikes taking place this week, traffic on UK roads will inevitably surge. But how can stay on top of our road rage and manage our frustration during delays this week?
A recent study by Compare the Market has revealed almost two in three (62%) UK drivers experience road rage, with one in three people reporting more than two incidents a week. With this in mind, comparethemarket.com has partnered with Neuro-linguistic expert Rebecca Lockwood to reveal how you can keep your frustration under control while on the roads this weekend.
What is the psychology behind why we experience road rage?
Neuro-linguistic expert Rebecca Lockwood offers some insight into why our emotions are heightened when we are behind the wheel.
‘Our road rage tendencies are partly down to our experiences while watching others drive which can have a great impact on how we perceive what is normal while driving. For those who have grown up watching a parent express road rage, it can be common for us to inhabit these behaviours as we grow older.
‘Road rage is often intensified by external factors we experience in our day-to-day lives. While experiencing stress in other areas of your life it’s common for them to burst out in other situations.’
Asked why being in a car can amplify frustration, Rebecca says: ‘When we are experiencing road rage in the car, it’s much easier to forget that the other cars hold real people. It dissociates someone from the situation and creates a barrier between the person and the car.’
Expert tips on how to de-escalate anger while driving
- Maintain concentration. Glaring lights, radios, and passengers can all be extremely distracting. Giving the road your complete attention will avoid sudden surprises enabling you to be more vigilant of other drivers, increasing your reaction time.
- Make sure you’re well-rested. After a stressful day at work or many miles into a long-distance drive, tiredness can often take over. When a driver is tired, they are much more susceptible to irritability and distraction, if you’re feeling this way it’s important to take a break from driving.
- Take a moment before you react. Often, we can find ourselves in situations where we are unaware of how tense we are and taking a moment to step back from the situation will give you time to reflect on whether a certain response is warranted.
- Be forgiving and learn to let go. No driver is perfect, and it can become easy to judge someone’s driving ability based on a brief interaction, but being forgiving towards other road users and letting go of frustrations is important.
- Prevent trigger stresses. When you’re running late to an event, or you get lost on the way, it can often trigger aggressive driving as you become panicked. You can try to eliminate these triggers by planning your trip early and making sure you leave enough time to get to your destination.