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Avoiding Road-Rage: Tips for Staying Stress-Free While Driving


In our fast-paced world, we can find ourselves racing from one place to another, especially when we hit the road. With heavy traffic, tight schedules and the pressures of daily life, it's no surprise that road rage is quite common. The AA conducted a survey in 2021 where 70% of participants confirmed they were on the receiving end of road rage at some point in their driving history.

Aviva Ireland also found that poor driving behaviours by other motorists tops the list of stress factors for almost 30% of drivers in their consumer research conducted by iReach Insights.

Woman driving and pressing steering wheel | Stay stress-free while driving | An Post Insurance X | Avoiding road-rage | An Post Insurance

Road rage can lead to risky situations, accidents and bad outcomes for both parties. In this blog, we'll have a look at a few tips for keeping your cool behind the wheel.

Plan ahead

One of the causes of road rage is being rushed or running late. To avoid this stress, take a moment to plan your trips in advance. Leave yourself lots of time to spare, factoring in possible delays due to traffic or unexpected events. If you add the Google Traffic Widget to your phone it will show you traffic information and delays in your area as well as crashes, roadworks or road closures nearby. When you're not in a rush, you'll be less likely to become frustrated and agitated.

Stay present

Mindfulness can help us to manage stress, including road rage. When you're driving, keep your mind on the road, your surroundings and your own behavior. Steer clear of distractions like texting, changing radio stations or eating while driving. By staying alert you can better respond to unexpected situations like those outlined in our blog 6 Reasons We Take Our Eyes Off The Road"

Be patient

Traffic jams and slow-moving vehicles are just part and parcel of life on the road. Instead of getting annoyed, try to see these situations as opportunities to practice patience. Take deep breaths or listen to soothing music. Remind yourself that getting angry won't solve anything or miraculously speed up traffic.

Avoid aggressive driving

Engaging in aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic and endless beeping at others can increase tensions while behind the wheel. Instead, use defensive driving techniques, maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you, use your indicators correctly and respect the right of way. Being considerate of other drivers on the road can help prevent arguments.

Don't Get Involved

The AA speaks of Mayo County Council's Road Safety Office running numerous safety campaigns around road rage. Road Safety Officer - Christina Lynch refers to tailgating and aggressive driving as "autobody language". She says, "That triggers the other driver to do it back, and that escalation of tension leads to collisions". If you meet an angry driver on the road, don’t get sucked into arguments. Avoid eye contact, using offensive gestures or reacting to aggressive behavior. Your safety should always be your top priority so avoid engaging with irate drivers that could lead to risky situations.

Take Necessary Breaks

For long journeys make sure to take regular breaks. Being overtired can make us irritable and impatient, making road rage more likely. Park up, stretch your legs, have a little something to eat and drink to re-energise and keep you in high spirits.

We can’t control other people’s behavior, but we can control our own. Hopefully the tips above will help us stay calm and cool while driving and avoid falling into the pitfalls of road rage for a safer, more comfortable journey. Keep your cool with Car Insurance from An Post Insurance.

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