Frustrated drivers can cause an auto accident in traffic easier than any other driver. You already know that you shouldn’t be driving when you are intoxicated, distracted, or overly tired. But you might not realize your mood can impair you’re driving and might cause you to cause an accident. Driving while frustrated can lead you to make poor decisions behind the wheel. Some of the risks associated with frustrated driving include:
- Slower reaction times making you a dangerous driver;
- Making risky moves to get ahead in traffic - i.e., cutting several lanes at a time, not leaving enough space when changing lanes, or driving on the shoulder;
- Losing the ability to perform driving skills that require precise timing – i.e., merging onto the freeway or adjusting speed with traffic.
Being frustrated is a common state of mind for many drivers. Some of the most frequent cause of road frustration are:
- Slow Drivers
- Long Commutes
- Crowded Areas
- Texting and Driving
- Rude Drivers
“I was frustrated” isn’t an excuse for getting into an accident. But, there are steps you can take to reduce your frustration on your drive.
- Leave extra time for your commute: If you find yourself feeling like you’re rushing to get to work or other places on time, try factoring in some extra time so that if something comes up and you are held up in traffic, you won’t become anxious.
- Find something that calms you down: Take deep breaths, count to 10, listen to music – do something that will help you relax without taking your attention off the road.
- Find a less stressful route: If you are always stressed out on the route you take, try taking another route. Even if it happens to be slightly longer, it might end up being faster because there is less traffic.
- Don’t engage with an aggressive driver: If a driver honks, yells, or flips you off - don’t retaliate. When you retaliate, you are more likely to make both you and the other driver more frustrated.
When you start to become frustrated while driving, do your best to calm down. You can’t control traffic, but you can control your reaction.