Driving is practically a necessity in today’s world. However, for people who struggle with road rage, getting behind the wheel can pose some serious risks. Road rage, which can be brought on by aggressive driving habits, leads to a disturbing number of injuries and fatalities each year. If you want to avoid dealing with having to hire car accident attorneys to defend you in court, or possibly being the cause of an accident, it’s imperative to get control of the frustration you experience while driving. Here are some helpful tips to consider for avoiding road rage.

Allow Time for Unexpected Delays

Road rage is sometimes brought on by traffic delays which cause people to be late for work or important appointments. The key to avoiding this motivation for road rage is to try and stay ahead of schedule. If you leave with enough time to be at least thirty minutes early to your destination, a patch of construction or an accident causing delays on the roadway won’t leave you feeling quite as irritable as when you’re running late.

Get Adequate Rest

Another cause of road rage or other forms of explosive anger is a lack of sleep. People who are sleep deprived can respond to small inconveniences or mishaps in irrational ways. They can also tend to read into other people’s motives. If you’re planning to drive, it’s critical to get a healthy amount of sleep so you don’t suddenly snap due to exhaustion. It will also help you avoid another huge cause of accidents: falling asleep behind the wheel!

Drive Defensively and Considerately

Defensive driving is driving that seeks to minimize risk by planning ahead. This would include following basic traffic safety laws, such as staying within the speed limit. Make sure to constantly be aware of your surroundings. One driver’s anger can quickly escalate into a back-and-forth road rage scenario, so do your part to avoid provoking road rage in others. Avoid tailgating, check your blind spot before changing lanes, and don’t leave your bright headlights on when passing other drivers. In short, treat other drivers on the road the way you want to be treated.

Watch Your Mood before Getting behind the Wheel

If you’re feeling upset about a disagreement you’ve just had with someone or if you’ve just suffered a huge disappointment, it’s probably not the best time to go for a drive. If you’re already angry when you start driving, you’ll be more prone to drive aggressively. You may also find yourself more prone to react with anger when other drivers make mistakes on the road.

Pull over and Calm Down

When you do notice that you’re starting to feel anger creeping up on you while you’re driving, consider getting off the road until you’ve calmed down. Look for a safe place to pull over. Breathe deeply. Count to 10. Call a friend. Turn on the radio. Get out of the car and take a walk. You might simply try cutting off angry emotions before they flare up. Do whatever you need to do to get into a more relaxed state of mind. Once you’ve got your emotions sufficiently under control, you can get back behind the wheel and finish your commute.

By following these basic steps, you could avoid being the cause of a minor incident or a major tragedy. There’s no good time to express road rage. By learning to keep your anger in check, you’ll help yourself and everyone around you enjoy a safer, peaceful driving environment.