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How to Stay Calm While Driving

written by Guest Blogger January 23, 2013

Learning to stay calm in any stressful situation is an art form. Today’s guest blogger, Carlos Santiago, provides us some very useful tips in how to stay calm while driving – maybe we can apply these tips to other stressful events in our lives!?    

Most people have to drive at various points in their day, often on busy highways or roadways that are congested with many other drivers. While many people get to and from work without traffic problems, a lot of people find themselves frustrated and angry in traffic, especially during busy rush hour times.

Traffic can be extremely frustrating, and can make a lot of drivers lose their tempers, even if they are typically mild-mannered and calm individuals. In some of the most serious cases, people fall into a state commonly called “road rage,” in which they become so incensed that they may begin to drive very dangerously, putting themselves and others in extreme danger.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says that the most common form of road rage is aggressive speeding and driving, but there are other forms as well. You can find more information about road rage and how a driver’s health might be affected by long commutes here, so that you can keep yourself informed about the benefits of stress-free driving.

Unfortunately, while frustration is common among drivers, it’s important for drivers to remain calm when they are on roadways, and especially when they are in stressful situations, such as heavy traffic or bad weather. Losing your temper or becoming angry can pose dangers not just to you, but to anyone else on the road, including other drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and even pedestrians.

Learning to remain calm prepares you to handle any stressful driving situation with poise and clarity, and lessens the chances of you causing an accident because you are frustrated.

Tips for Staying Calm in Stressful Situations

Many different things can cause stress while driving. Sometimes it’s bad weather, sometimes it’s traffic in general, and sometimes other drivers just behave in ways that make us crazy! It may seem extremely difficult to stay calm when you’re driving in a stressful situation, but it’s very important that you try to do so.

Some tips for staying calm in stressful driving situations include:

  1. Take a deep breath. Breathe deeply, into your abdomen, and exhale slowly.
  2. Turn your music down. Loud or fast-paced music can actually make us more frantic.
  3. Recite a favorite mantra or saying to yourself, slowly and quietly.
  4. Remind yourself that you’re not in a hurry.
  5. Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt; maybe they have an emergency.

While not every one of these strategies for staying calm may work for you, you can try out different ones and see which is most effective when you find yourself in stressful situations.

Surprisingly, one of the best ways to remain calm during a stressful driving situation is simply to tell yourself to remain calm. This might seem like unhelpful advice, but just by telling yourself to remain calm you assert control over yourself and your emotional state. Even by maintaining this seemingly slight control, you might be monitoring your own stress levels effectively, and reducing the chances of making a rash driving decision.

About the Author

Carlos Santiago is a legal blogger who writes for numerous car accident lawyer blogs. He believes that remaining calm and alert while driving can go a long way towards preventing the mistakes that lead to crashes.

For stressful driving situations, I like to try to create my preferred reality. I’ll say to myself things like, “This is just a little snag and traffic will clear up soon.” Or, “Green light, green light, green light!” Do you have any tricks to stay calm while driving?

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