10+ Tips to Manage Anger While Driving

If you drive around, you must have experienced rage behind the wheel numerous times. Whatever country you live in, however strict the rules there are; there are always instances where other drivers annoy you beyond your wits.

In a moment of fury, we have all thought about the worst thing that could happen if we intentionally crash our car into the car in front of us? Be honest, have you not? However tempting it might feel in the moment, you know you have to control your rage.

We are here to make such instances easier for you. We bring to you some tried and tested ways to control anger while driving. Read on to get on the journey of a calmer driving experience.

What Causes Anger While driving?

Anger while driving is common. Statistics show that 90% of drivers have experienced road rage. You see, it is more common than you think.

With strict rules and regulations, how is it that such a vast majority has struggled and failed to control anger while driving? There are several causes of anger, but there are some that often lead to anger while driving. Let’s look at those:

  1. Traffic delays
  2. Running late
  3. Anonymity
  4. Delinquency and negligence of rules and regulations
  5. Thrill and Adventure

1 – Traffic delays

There are more cars on the roads than ever. That naturally means more traffic jams. Heavy congestion on the roads, slow movement, sitting at stoplights, persistent honks, and moving around to find a vacant parking stop are sure to dampen your mood even if you left your house all cheerful.

2 – Running late

We have all been late sometimes due to no fault of ours. But when we are running late and have to be on time for an appointment or an interview, we are quick to lose our calm and get angry while driving.

3 – Anonymity

Just like you are on your best behavior in front of people you love and maintain a good impression on, drivers are likely to drive to their best of abilities when someone is sitting with them or watching them drive. They are likely to involve in road rage when they know that they are not going to meet the driver in the other car ever again.

4 – Delinquency and negligence of rules and regulations

Some drivers have no sense of responsibility towards others and obligation to laws, rules, and regulations. They feel it is alright to break traffic laws and conveniently forget that they will have to bear the consequences.

5 – Thrill and Adventure

30% of aggression on the road is perpetuated by people in the 25-34 age group. They may like the thrill of speeding and aggressive driving. For them, it could simply be an adventure that does not have any repercussions.

Common Types of Anger You Can Face On The Road

Anger on the road varies in severity. It can go from honking your car angrily to tailgating to physically assaulting other drivers or crashing into their cars. A survey found out that 13 out of 1000 people were physically attacked and 24 had their vehicles attacked.

Some of the common types of anger you will find on the road are:

  • Tailgating
  • Screaming
  • Honking the horns of cars angrily
  • Making angry faces and gestures
  • Actively blocking another car from changing lanes
  • Intentionally cutting off and overtaking other cars
  • Getting out of the vehicle to brawl with another driver
  • Intentionally hitting, striking, or bumping into other vehicles

10+ Tips to Control Anger While Driving

You will find annoying and amateur drivers everywhere. The sooner you realize that you don’t need to spend your energy on them, the better. Instead of boiling your blood and ruining your peace, learn how can anger affect your ability to drive and effective road rage anger management tips to deal with anger while on the road.

Mentioned below are 10 tips we have tried for road rage anger management and they have worked every time. They are:

  1. Don’t Rush
  2. Don’t Make it Personal
  3. Practice Defensive Driving
  4. Turn on the Music
  5. Treat Others as Humans
  6. Don’t Tailgate
  7. Keep Your Hand Away from the Horn
  8. Don’t Stop to Confront Another Driver
  9. Don’t Respond to Aggression
  10. Maintain Distance From Aggressive Drivers
  11. Opt for Anger Management Class

1 – Don’t Rush

If you are late, then well, you are already late so what’s the use of overspending and aggressive driving? Drive at the speed you are normally comfortable at. Don’t rush. Don’t take unnecessary risks. They are not worth it, so better late than sorry.

2 – Don’t Make it Personal

The main reason most of the drivers get down to engaging in road rage is that they make other drivers’ silly driving a matter of their ego. “How dare they overtake me?”, “Trying to get ahead of me? I’ll show them who the boss is.”

When, in reality, the other driver may actually be in a hurry. They don’t know you and they don’t care about you. They would have sped and overtaken whichever car was ahead of them, even if the driver was not you.

So, don’t take it personally. Don’t make it a matter of your ego Such that you will have to make them taste their medicine to give yourself some relief. Let them be, you try to focus on your own driving.

3 – Practice Defensive Driving

Remember when you first learned to drive? You used to think that every car, every vehicle, and even the cycle on the road is coming to crash right into you. They won’t stop, so you will have to be extra careful.

Yes, bring that defensive driving again. When we get comfortable while driving, we get this sense of confidence that the other person will press the brakes. No, that’s utter carelessness. Don’t assume this and save yourself and your car from any accidents.

4 – Turn on the Music

If you are feeling your mood turning sour and frustration rising, then do something to cool off. Turn on the radio, or play your favorite songs. Take a sip of water, or take ten deep breaths.

5 – Treat Others as Humans

If you are in a hurry to reach your destination, so are others. If you are sick and tired of the dreadful traffic congestion then so are others. If you can make mistakes while driving, so are others.

Don’t be quick to judge others and be unforgiving. Treat them as humans, and give them the benefit of the doubt. Think that they might be new drivers, they could be new to the area, they are lost, they are struggling to find a specific place, etc. When you do so, you are less likely to become impatient.

6 – Don’t Tailgate

Don’t tailgate. If you are an experienced driver, don’t harass other drivers by cramming your car into theirs if they are driving slowly.

Always keep a safe distance from the car in front, no matter how slowly they might be driving.

7 – Keep Your Hand Away from the Horn

Sure, honking is sometimes necessary. But it’s not going to do much in a traffic jam or to speed up the car in front of you.

So, as tempting as it may seem, stay clear from expressing your aggression through constant honking.

8 – Don’t Stop to Confront Another Driver

Don’t be the person who finds a reason to stop their cars, confront the driver in another car, and make a show on the road.

Don’t be this person. Ignore mistakes. Let it be. Confronting the driver is likely to exacerbate the issue and result in nothing except time and energy getting wasted.

9 – Don’t Respond to Aggression

There will be times when other drivers will intentionally look for confrontations and offload their anger on you.

In such moments, keep calm. Fight the temptation of getting into an argument or tailgating. It could result in damage to your car or verbal or physical assault.

10 – Maintain Distance from Aggressive Drivers

If you see that a driver on the road seems particularly interested in speeding and overtaking, then it’s best for you to maintain a distance. Let them get ahead or change your lane.

11 – Opt for Anger Management Class

If you think you are one of those people who are not able to guide their anger in the correct direction, then you can seek help from a professional. You can check out some of the anger management courses we offer. Depending on your preference, you can choose the 4-hour, 8-hour, 12-hour, or even the extensive 52-hours long course.

However well-intentioned a friend or family member may be, they cannot help you learn how to deal with anger and express it in a healthy manner the way an expert would. Therefore, we recommend that you look up these courses. If you are concerned about a teenager who faces anger issues, then you can get them enrolled in this anger management course for teenagers specially designed for individuals between ages 13-19, keeping in mind the challenges they gave during this age.

Key Takeaways

When you are on the road, you know that drivers on the road are there only to test your patience. There could be several genuine reasons you could lose your calm while driving. However, it is best for all parties involved to not get angry when driving.

In this blog, we shared 10+ effective tips on how to deal with road rage. Three of our most recommendations are to not take other drivers’ aggression or stupidity as a personal attack and make it a matter of your ego, to engage yourself in activities like listening to the radio or FM when you sense your anger rising up, and to never respond to aggression with aggression. It only takes a moment but loads of strength to let go. Be the bigger person.

Make use of these tips, and the next time someone gets impressed and asks how do you overcome road rage, share this blog with them so they can learn some tips too.

Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC

Dr. Carlos Todd PhD LCMHC specializes in anger management, family conflict resolution, marital and premarital conflict resolution. His extensive knowledge in the field of anger management may enable you to use his tested methods to deal with your anger issues.


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