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Top 10 ways to beat road rage and stress

  • How to calm down at the wheel
  • How to avoid road rage
  • Be a better, safer driver
Words ByWhat Car? Staff

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A new report suggests road rage and disrespectful driving could lead to 800 road deaths a year in the UK.

That's more than a quarter of all road deaths, so what can you do to avoid becoming part of the statistics?

How to beat road rage and stress

β€’ Forgive and forget - everyone has bad days. If someone cuts you up, doesn't indicate or blocks you in, put it down to them having a bad moment and move on.

β€’ Count to 10 and breathe deeply - try to stay calm at all times. Getting worked up isn't just going to make you more likely to have an accident, it's also bad for your general health. Slowly counting to 10 and taking deep breaths really does work.

β€’ Keep your distance - giving yourself plenty of space from the car in front will give you more time to react to any sudden moves they may make. Tailgating someone who isn't moving out of the fast lane will wind them up and create a vicious cycle that could end in disaster.

β€’ Don't overreact - being in a car can give you false sense of security and make you react more violently than you would, for instance, in a supermarket shopping queue. Don't make obscene gestures or swear - you'd look a little silly doing this in Tesco, so don't do it in your car.

β€’ Avoid eye contact - if things start to get out of hand, avoid eye contact and don't get dragged in to a battle. Head for a police station or a busy place like a supermarket car park if you're getting worried, and sound your horn.

β€’ Apologise - if you make a mistake, admit it. Simply holding up your hand in apology can work wonders and help to defuse situations before they get out of hand.

β€’ Give yourself time - if you find you're regularly stressed and under pressure to get places in your car, make a big effort to leave earlier and give yourself more time for your journey.

β€’ Get plenty of sleep - you're more likely to overreact and be irrational if you haven't had enough sleep, so make sure you've recharged your batteries fully.

β€’ Change your tune - Slipknot is likely to make you more aggressive than Beethoven, so try switching radio stations or MP3 files if the soundtrack is starting to wind you up.

β€’ Rise above it all - prove you're a good driver. Let people out, give other motorists plenty of room and stay calm.