The holiday season is one of the most stressful times for travel, both in the sky and on the roads. If you have a lot of driving to do during the holidays, make sure you’re taking the right steps to combat high-stress levels and road rage. Though there are various types of road rage and ways to combat them, even individuals who don’t usually may experience road rage during the holidays. In either case, take extra precautionary measures and check out these tips for preventing road rage during holiday travel—that way, you and your travel partners can have a relaxing holiday trip!
Try to Avoid Driving at Peak Times
One of the biggest reasons for the increase in road rage incidents during the holidays is the fact that there are way more people on the roads. More people means higher chances of irrational drivers. So, if you can, avoid driving at peak times.
Follow the Rules of the Road
Especially during the holidays, be sure to follow the rules of the road. That means no tailgating, no merges without turn signals, and leaving enough space. The more you follow the rules, the less of a chance you have of irking someone else and putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
Take a Deep Breath
It may seem too simplistic, but one of the best ways to control your road rage is by taking a deep, centering breath. If you notice your anger heightening, do your best to soothe yourself. If someone cuts you off, take centering breaths before you even think about reacting. If centering breaths don’t seem to work, try calming music or a funny podcast to keep yourself grounded.
Be Tolerant and Forgiving
Now, this may seem too hard in the moment, but try to stay as tolerant and forgiving as possible. If another driver is going too fast or too slow, merging quickly, or just generally driving recklessly, try to think of the other person. Maybe they’re having a really bad day; maybe they’re on the way to the hospital. Try to reason for their actions and be forgiving about them. In the end, your anger won’t change their actions, so try to change your emotions in response.
Do Not Respond
Simply put, for your safety and the safety of others, don’t respond. If another driver is getting angry, tells or motions for you to pull over, makes any obscene gestures—just don’t respond. Avoid eye contact, don’t make any gestures back, and try to maintain as much space around your vehicle as possible. Even if you tend to get angry, try your best to control it and not respond to others.