One angry driver can’t start a fight unless another driver is willing to join in…
It seems that each day brings even more road users and traffic jams that congest South Africa’s roads. This can be infuriating for any driver, especially when you unexpectedly get caught up in a traffic jam that delays your journey.
At present, bus strikes have added to the chaos, with more commuters driving their cars into work, and if you’re like me, you’ve been experiencing the many hours stuck at a complete stand still in traffic.
So much runs through my head when overwhelming traffic jams become unbearable: Why are people driving to the middle of intersections when the traffic lights are read? And that taxi driver that obnoxiously pulls in in front of you at the very last minute after driving in the emergency lane? Or the driver who hasn’t planned his route properly and keeps changing lanes with no warning. It’s all a bit much. While I used to fall victim to reacting to these situations in a way that doesn’t do any good for my blood pressure, I’ve learnt that practicing safe and calm ways of dealing with these frustrations is the only way to get through it.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about a traffic jam. But you can do something about how you react to it.
“When you find yourself in a stressful driving environment or when your mood makes you irritable and impatient, calm down, take a deep breath and relax. An aggressive state of mind will come through in your driving behaviour and affects your safety and the safety of others. Be courteous, content and considerate. Accept the fact that you’re bound to meet all sorts of different drivers on the road. Don’t take things personally.” These are words of wisdom from Arrive Alive. Remember this and I promise it will help keep you calm and less aggravated on the road.
Here are some more suggestions from Arrive Alive. I’ve found that as mundane as they may seem, if you can practice as many of these tips as possible, it really does make for a less torturous experience in traffic jams. Keep calm out there…