How are you going to stay off the naughty list this holiday season if you keep tailgating, changing lanes erratically, and giving other drivers the gift of “The Bird” every chance you get?
If this style of driving sounds familiar, you need to put on the brakes and realize that the holidays can be a stressful time of year on the road. Not only are we in a rush to get our shopping done or hit up that holiday party, but we also aren’t in the mood to share the road with other drivers.
To keep yourself and others safe on the road during the holiday season, we put this quick list together to help curb aggressive driving and keep you in the giving spirit.
1. It’s Not About You. My number one favorite rule to remember either on or off the road is when someone is acting irrationally, 9 times out of 10 it’s not about me. Maybe they lost their job today. Or perhaps they got some other bad news. Just remember: you never know what is going on in someone else’s life, so if they accidentally cut you off, or back up without looking, it’s likely not about you – so don’t take it personally.
2. Take a Breath: Taking a deep breath can be a simple solution that can quickly improve your mood. We get so tense and stressed on the road that it can affect our breathing. If you feel yourself tightening your grip on the wheel, take a long deep breath in, and concentrate on letting it out slowly. Try counting to 5 while you breathe in, then again as you go out. Try it again and see if you can reach a higher number, 8 or 10. Do this 3 times, and by the time you finish your third breath, you’ll be surprised at how different you’ll feel.
3. Plan Ahead: We’re all guilty of trying to cram too much into too little time. Be realistic. Are you really going to get to and from the store with enough time to make it to little Billy’s caroling concert? If you can relieve some stress by putting a few things off, or delegating some tasks to others, you’ll feel better and be a safer, more calm driver.
4. Be the Passenger: Why not hand over the keys and let your friend or spouse handle the driving for a bit? If you’re stressed out, you’re not in the right frame of mind to hit the road. Relax and let someone else do it for a change.Walk it Off: If you find yourself getting unnecessarily angry in the driver’s seat, maybe it’s time to pull over and wait it out. Park somewhere safe and hop out of the car for a short walk. It can’t hurt to shake it off for a few minutes, and that little bit of fresh air could be just the salve you need to soothe your nerves and focus on driving safely.
5. Walk it Off: If you find yourself getting unnecessarily angry in the driver’s seat, maybe it’s time to pull over and wait it out. Park somewhere safe and hop out of the car for a short walk. It can’t hurt to shake it off for a few minutes, and that little bit of fresh air could be just the salve you need to soothe your nerves and focus on driving safely.