Road rage: You’ve seen it. You may have even been a part of it. Getting aggravated with other drivers is common, and even more so for truck drivers who spend a majority of their time on the road. You’ve likely even shared a few laughs about it.
But the truth is, road rage is very dangerous.
1) It’s unsafe for you and anyone else on the road. If you’re upset, you’re distracted.
2) It’s exhausting. Stress tires you out. As a truck driver, you likely already face long days. Stress adds emotional and mental exhaustion.
3) It’s unhealthy. Stress taxes your body physically, mentally and emotionally. No one wants to live like that.
The good news is, road rage can be avoided! You just need to have the right tools in your toolbox to learn how to keep your cool. Start here >>>
Deal with Stress Before You Hit the Road
Without a doubt, you will encounter stressful situations on the road. First and foremost, be aware of how you feel before you hit the road. Are you stressed? Can you resolve that situation before you get behind the wheel? If not, put it aside to deal with at a later time. It’s not safe to be driving a big rig under stress.
Know How to De-Stress on the Road
When traffic delays, road construction or erratic drivers cause a stressful situation out of your control, take a deep breath, slow down and keep a reasonable distance. Switch your music to easy listening. You can’t control the outside circumstances; focus on what you can control inside the cab to calm yourself.
Expect the Unexpected
Be realistic about your travel time. Expect the unexpected, such as road construction, bad weather, traffic accidents, etc. If you’re going to be later than planned, communicate as needed and deal with it. Don’t take it out on other drivers.
Avoid instant negative reactions (aka, hand gestures to other drivers). Pause and take a deep breath. Put your pride in the backseat. Many times, a quick flip only angers the other driver, who then may do something to make the situation even worse or unsafe.
Pick a Lane and Stay In It
You will encounter drivers who will dodge, pass on the right and change lanes no matter what. While this can be frustrating and often sparks road rage, stay the course in your lane. The odds of an accident increases each time a vehicle makes a move to another lane. Therefore, decrease your chances of an accident by simply maintaining your lane.
Don’t Drive Distracted
Part of staying safe means you need to watch out for the bad apples on the road. The best way to do this is by not driving distracted. Follow these top tips from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:
- No texting. No texting. No texting!
- Do not dial your phone while driving.
- Do not let objects outside of your truck distract you.
- Avoid eating and drinking when driving.
- Do not read or watch videos while driving.
As a truck driver, you play a huge part in keeping the roads safe. Set the example of what being a good driver means. Kick back, relax and enjoy the road ahead.
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