With increasing congestion on North America’s highways and surface roads comes an increase in drivers’ rude, unacceptable, and sometimes extremely dangerous reactions. Road rage is the cause behind a growing number of tragic collisions – accidents that can change the lives of countless families in an instant.
Car drivers’ bad behavior and ignorance of the sheer physics and facts of over-the-road trucks are major contributors to many fatal crashes. We’re constantly thinking: do they not know how long it takes to slow down or stop a 10-ton rig? Can’t car drivers show some courtesy and caring about others on the road?
Although educational efforts are underway by trucking associations and highway safety programs, we can’t change other drivers. We can only change our own approaches to other drivers on the road, especially the aggressive, dangerous, and downright stupid drivers who jeopardize our own safety.
Here are ten tips to reduce our own road rage toward other drivers:
- Watch out during lane changes and merges. These two points are the most common spots for road rage on the highway. Look ahead and be prepared for the unexpected.
- Keep your cool. Don’t let your emotions flare up. Anger is a distraction that takes away your focus on keeping you and your truck safe and on-track.
- Understand that stress is harmful to you. Your physical and mental health suffer when you are in a continual state of stress and aggravation.
- Listen to relaxing music. Cranking up loud heavy metal can get you pumped up, but it’s not as conducive to staying calm and chilled-out.
- Consider going a few miles under the traffic. When you’re not focused on passing everything in sight, you reduce your risks of tangling with poor drivers.
- Reduce your stress. Exercise before getting in the cab and practice taking long, deep breaths when traffic conditions get crazy.
- Don’t give in to gestures at other drivers. Road rage can accelerate when drivers shake their fists or even shake their heads after someone else’s bad driving.
- Expect delays. There’s no sense getting aggravated over congestion or construction and weather conditions that slow you down. They are out of your control.
- Remember you get the same money, regardless of how long a load takes. You’re paid by the mile, not the minute. You’re losing time, but you’re not losing money.
- Focus on enjoying the drive. You’re in that truck cab for a long time; you might as well relax and look for ways to enjoy the experience and your surroundings.
Reducing stress on your drive pays off. One source of stress for many truckers is finding their next loads. Signing up on FreeFreightSearch.com, the world’s largest completely free load board, can help you stay loaded. Click here to register now.