How To Avoid Road Rage

Or how to remain the calm and social motoring butterflies we were all meant to be

3y ago

In the distant month of September, I read an article that claimed that 64% of road users were involved in aggressive behaviour on the road. Such actions start with certain gestures, using words we wouldn’t teach our children, and even kicking against another person’s car-door. We’re not even going to dwell on the people who get out of the car “to teach someone a lesson.”

It really baffled me how someone can be so aggressive while driving, since I am a butterfly in the streets:

I give enough space, I don’t trundle along but neither do I drive up someone’s arse if they’re slower. I understand that even the best driver can have a brain fart. I adapt and overcome, and when I arrive at my destination it is with a calm mind. Meanwhile, Herbert Whoops Where Is My Indicator is going to arrive at his destination only half as embarrassed as possible.

At least I thought that this was true until a fateful day when I was driving into Vienna and a small hatchback was sticking on my rear. I was on the outside line, a tad too fast, and wanted to go left in 50 meters anyway. Hence, it was my morally and ethnical okay for me to be in this lane.

I was still the motoring butterfly I am when I thought with a calm mind “what a bellend …” Then she decided to undertake me. This is annoying enough, but she came to a sudden realisation that also on the right lane a car was in front of her, and decided to use the smallest space between us to squeeze in front of me.

At the next set of lights, I saw here next to me, and found a non-verbal way to indicate that I thought she was an idiot. Then I turned off left.

After parking my car, the realisation hit me. What have I become? Which monster had eaten the motoring butterfly that I am and turned me into this? Appalled by my own behaviour I set out to better myself. There must be a comping mechanism that helps me to become the kind human being I had been once upon a time.

Since I was in a hurry, I did not really bother to think about it just here and there. At least until I realised that this might be part of the problem. When you’re in a hurry, you tend to use your elbows more often. Maybe, and just maybe, if I had driven away ten minutes sooner my patience would have been better.

At least this idea would have made sense if someone had made an honest mistake. Or you suddenly end up in slow traffic. It would do very little to my nerves when it comes to someone who’s completely incompetent.

“While that seemed like a reasonable idea for some …” I began to complain to the Gecko of Good Fortune when I got back into the car. “… I am not sure it is going to work for me.”

The Gecko of Good Fortune

The Gecko of Good Fortune

After all, I am the type of person who excels under pressure. I would have never managed my old route five minutes faster had it not been for the pressure. Neither would I have learned how to get away quickly when the lights turn green.

“You see, a little bit of pressure makes me into a better driver,” I concluded, feeling a lot calmer about the whole issue already. This was the moment I had an epiphany!

Instead of showing my disgust through various gestures and inappropriate behaviour directed at fellow motorists, I might as well complain about it to The Gecko of Good Fortune. After all, it is good enough to listen to my off-tune singing hence this should be easy.

However, this gave me a better idea. After all, it has already been scientifically proven by me that singing while driving cleans the soul, waters your crops and makes you into a better, more interesting and happier human being. So, why shouldn’t it help when it comes to coping with a fit of road rage?

Instead of hurling bad words out of the window and making rude gestures, you can sing along with your favourite song. What’s better? Being an angry grump all the time, or singing along to Paris by The Chainsmokers?*

#roadrage #solutions #entertainment

*other songs may apply as well.

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Comments (11)

  • Oh, Susanne. Lovely article once again. Just what I needed to right at this moment. This is what I've been singing lately to forget my road rage:

      3 years ago
    • I am glad you enjoyed it :) such comments make my day.

      And I have this song too! I don't know anyone who doesn't :D

        3 years ago
  • Aw that's a great story. its so nice to hear well mannered drivers like you still exist. I love to drive and most of the time I'm very calm as a person and also on the road I'm at ease driving. I enjoy listening to Michael Buble, Dean Martin, jazz or classical which helped me be calm but every now and then someone comes and ruins my fun. One day a person cut infront of me at a roundabout, (we almost crashed) then I honked at that person for the next 30 secs, I came home and felt so sorry for getting worked up. Another day a guy was doing burnouts in the area and I was going to get dinner and it just so happened that that guy was infront of me, so I tailgated him for 5 minutes and while eating my pizza I realised that the person was also a car lover from my community and I felt very sorry about what id done. So having learnt from that, I just keep calm driving on the road and never make any rude hand gestures to people. Nice article!

      3 years ago
  • I agree. Listening to music helps deal with these situations. I'd nominate AC DC The Jack and Audioslave Be Yourself to listen to in these moments.

      3 years ago
    • Maybe I should do a post "best songs to listen to when keeping road rage at bay" 🤔

        3 years ago
    • Do it. I also want to do a 📃 of my personal favourite driving/Road trip songs

        3 years ago
  • Sorry for the long comment! Your article also reminded me of my first and only minor crash where a person tried to lane cut in front of me and she ended up hitting my car and her car even went over the front on mine, it was horrible, somehow my car was still in one piece and only minorly damaged, the wheel cap had come off so she picked it from the road and dropped it into my front seat and then this last swore at me when I was in the right! I was just so shaken by the issue I had no mental space to say anything, thankfully that's the only time that's ever happened to me!

      3 years ago
    • Don't worry about the length of comments, I am glad you enjoyed the article and that you and your car walked away (mostly) unscratched from the accident.

      Tbf, I think everyone has those childish moments, I could tell you about the...

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        3 years ago
    • Wow that's pretty sad but yay you got back at them! Sounds like something from an American action movie 😂

        3 years ago
  • But I enjoy the swearing while I am driving on my own! It's like letting out all the evil before it has a chance to eat you up! Singing is a lovely idea though - and this is a lovely post. I do not think that you appreciate the help of your gecko enough though. Surely he eats up a lot of your rage :).

      3 years ago
    • Then I can recommend singing along to rap music: is music and should have a fair amount of swear words for you as well 😉 and thank you!

        3 years ago