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Road rage in California is a serious problem. The Best Driving School reported that nationwide, road rage was responsible for 218 murders and 12,610 injuries during seven years. Road rage has been the cause of countless accidents and deaths. Many of the people who were injured and killed during road rage incidents were innocent bystanders.

The good news is that road rage is something that can be prevented. Learning to stay calm and to control your temper, no matter what other drivers are doing around you, means you won’t be prone to making stupid, road rage-induced, driving maneuvers. Learning to understand the types of things that can trigger bouts of road rage will help you become a safer driver and the type of driver who doesn’t incite bouts of road rage.

Stay Calm While Driving

You don’t want to be the type of person who sees red and becomes enraged while behind the wheel. If know that you have a short temper and zero tolerance for people making driving mistakes, you owe it to yourself to seek help. Learn breathing techniques that will help you stay calm while driving.

If you’re already prone to road rage, you need to dedicate yourself to avoid situations that can activate your temper. This means you need to drive defensively. By staying away from other drivers, you reduce the number of times you’re cut off, or that someone passes by too closely, or makes a sudden decision to change lanes or turn.

If you feel your hold on your temper starting to slide, take several deep breaths and force yourself to not act instinctively. Rude gestures and retaliatory actions only make the situation worse.

When you do find yourself getting angry, focus on softening your grip on the steering wheel and unclenching your jaw.

How to Prevent Road Rage in Others

Don’t assume that simply because you’re a calm, collected person who rarely gets aggravated by other people that you don’t have to worry about preventing road rage in California. You need to make sure that you’re not the type of driver who triggers bouts of road rage.

The best way to make sure you aren’t triggering road rage is by becoming a predictable driver. Always use your blinker within 100-150 feet of your turn. Don’t break suddenly unless there’s an emergency. Maintain a steady speed.

The next thing you need to do is ignore your phone. Not only aren’t you supposed to be dealing with your phone while you’re behind the wheel, even glancing at the screen can cause you to swerve, speed up, slow down, or miss something important. The same is true if you have a child or pet in the car. You must teach yourself to ignore them while you’re driving.

Stay calm when you’re confronted with an angry driver. Don’t swerve away from them, but you also shouldn’t make eye contact or do anything they might find upsetting. Imagine that your calmness will envelop them and diffuse any road rage they’re experiencing.

Why You Should Stay Calm While Driving

There are lots of reasons why you should strive to stay as calm as possible while driving. The most obvious reason to learn how to control bouts of road rage while driving is to prevent nasty accidents. You should also remember that stress takes a toll on both your mental and physical health and periods of road rage are extremely stressful. Learning to prevent road rage should help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What you might not realize is that road rage can cost you your California driver’s license. Police officers respond to lots of traffic incidents that involve road rage. When they write up the report, the officer has the option to report the incident to the DMV who will read through the report and list you as a Negligent Driver which allows them to start the process of revoking your driver’s license.

Considering the possible consequences of a single road rage incident, it’s in your best interest to keep your temper under control and to always drive defensively.