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Aggressive driving and road rage have reached astronomical rates in Australia. A recent survey found that 85% of Australian drivers believe aggression on the road is higher than ever. The same survey indicated that 88% of Australians have been victims of road rage. Additionally, over 23% indicated that they have been pursued by angry drivers while over 10% reported having been run off the road.
According to statistics provided by the Victorian police, in 20% of “road user violence” cases, financial losses ranging from $25 to $28,000 were reported. With one fifth of incidents resulting in financial losses, participants in road violence, the most serious form of road rage recognized by Australian government, can expect to pay higher rates for auto insurance.
Checkout this extreme road rage incident
No one wants to become a statistic or to pay more than necessary for car insurance, so here are 10 tips for avoiding road rage and the damage it can cause:
1. Get Plenty of Rest
Any time you drive, make sure you are fully rested. Overtired drivers are much more likely to lose their tempers than those who are well-rested. On long drives, make a habit of stopping to stretch or to switch drivers at least once every three hours to stay refreshed.
2. Don’t Use Your Car as a Therapist
Don’t go for a drive to calm down after a fight with your spouse or an argument with your mate. Cars simply don’t make good counselors. If you need to get out and calm down a bit, take a walk instead.
3. Get Organized
Always allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at your destination. Take into consideration traffic conditions and the time it will take to find parking. Leaving even 10 minutes earlier for any engagement can cut down on your stress and help you remain calm while driving.
4. Don’t Take It Personally
If someone sits too long at a traffic light or turns a tad too closely in front of you, remember that the action isn’t a personal affront to you. Other drivers aren’t trying to make you late to your next appointment or keep you from getting to work on time.
5. Use Department Store Etiquette on the Street
Since you know other drivers aren’t trying to make your life miserable, try responding to them the way you would respond to other shoppers in a department store. Generally, people don’t find it necessary to shout obscenities or flash rude gestures at fellow shoppers who accidentally cut in line or bump into them. If everyone used the same etiquette when driving the streets would be much safer.
6. Take a Deep Breath
If you find your anger mounting while driving, take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Loosen your grip on the steering wheel, lower your shoulders and think happy thoughts. Even if you’re running behind schedule, remember that you aren’t late until you get there.
7. Slow Down and Yield
While taking that deep breath, you might want to slow down as well. Abiding by posted speed limits isn’t just the legal thing to do. It’s also safer. When you chance upon aggressive drivers, humour them by simply getting out of the way and letting them go. No harm ever came to someone who yielded the right of way.
8. Make a Recording of Yourself Driving
Do you want to be surprised by your voice? Try recording your voice while driving. It may come as a shock when you play back your morning commute. Do you know how much profanity you use while driving?
9. Avoid Overconfidence
Most people consider themselves good drivers, but the problem isn’t always someone else. Take a moment to evaluate your driving habits and consider making changes for safety sake, especially if you find yourself participating in behaviours you find infuriating in others.
10. Take a Defensive Driving Course
While re-evaluating your driving skills, try taking a refresher course. If it has been a number of years since you had any professional driving instruction, a well-taught course can provide life-saving tips and instructions for most adult drivers.