Welcome to summer time with cottage travelers going back and forth on a weekly basis to enjoy long weekends. We have visitors from outside of the Province driving through and everyone is out enjoying good weather. According to reports we have one of the busiest highway corridors in North America with the 401 and beats out places like California for the most vehicles in regular traffic conditions. Add long weekends, holiday celebrations, and special country birthday events an it will make for a busy summer.
This mix is the perfect storm for a condition we know as road rage. I know you have heard about road rage, it’s been all the rage! Sorry I had to do that. Road rage has been around for a long time and some people handle it better than others. It can be hard to ignore someone tailgating you or a person cutting you off when lanes merge. It is important to remember that while you may want to take revenge on someone making a stupid move it may escalate the situation to a dangerous level.
Watch any social media channel and you will see multiple videos about road rage. Some are pretty funny like the one on YouTube where a driver is cut off by another car. He noticed that the driver that cut him off had their windows down on the car when they passed. The driver that was cut off noticed a water puddle up ahead and manages to pass the other car and pulls over to the side. As the traffic pulled towards the puddle the driver that had been cut off sped through the puddle sending a wave of water into the window of the car who cut him off. Certainly not suggested, but funny.
Taking things a step further there was another video of truck drivers taking a motorist’s stupid antics into their own hands in Europe. A driver in a car had been purposely slamming on their brakes startling drivers and causing problems on the roadway. Two truck drivers who had been subject to this decided to take measures into their own hands. The two drivers caught up to the vehicle and boxed him in against the guard rail. The drivers got out of their trucks to talk to the car driver and a fight ensued. It was broken up by another driver who stopped to assist. The situation was quickly defused, but could have turned out much worse. There are plenty of other examples on social media and in real life, just watch the news.
Tips to help you deal with road rage.
How do you handle road rage on our busy roadways this summer? Much of road rage has to do with the individual driving and their temperament. Many of us know when something makes us mad and it is up to you to know when your blood is beginning to boil. Here are a few tips to help you get through a busy summer season.
Trip Plan-Trip planning is your best defence in avoiding road rage. If you are planning a trip or heading to the cottage try to leave at odd times. Getting out of a city on a Friday afternoon at 4:00pm can put you right in the thick of traffic. Try to avoid the rush hour traffic if possible.
Leave plenty of time-Everyone is in a hurry these days and when in a hurry is when patience runs thin. Leave extra time to get to your destination and plan stops along the way. It’s better to be early than late and you will feel more relaxed when driving knowing you have plenty of time to get where you have to go.
Have an alternate route-There are many apps available and I still listen to radio stations that offer traffic on a regular basis so that you can see which routes are busier than others. Have an alternate route in mind should traffic be busy on your usual route. In fact taking country roads may offer a more relaxing drive to your destination.
Courtesy and patience is key-The biggest thing to remember is that we are all trying to get to our destination. Be patient and be courteous on the roads it will help fight road rage. It feels good when you do something good for someone else and they may even return the favour.
I hope these tips help you get to your destination safely so that you can enjoy your well deserved time off. Don’t let road rage ruin your weekend.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com