Keeping your composure in traffic: 5 Road Rage alternatives

For many, driving is an essential part of everyday life where one maintains slight control over their has time and can focus solely on what’s on the road ahead of them.  For others, it’s a stress-filled period of torture where one sits with hands gripped on the steering wheel, and with white knuckles showing and their eyes filled with rage, they're moments away from lashing out.  

A close shot of a driver inside the car with one hand gripping the steering wheel and the other pressed against the car horn.

The stories of the destruction caused by road rage are well-documented and yet, some people still find themselves involved in these predicaments.  Rather than lose your composure and potentially risk the safety of yourself and others, here are a five alternatives to road rage.  

1.  Stay Focused on Safety

  • Whether the roadways are open or heavily congested, any motorist can easily become distracted without warning.  While it’s impossible to control the behaviors of others, by committing to being a defensive driver each time you get behind the wheel, you can increase your chances of staying safe while driving. 
  • In the event of an incident in traffic, never get out of your car to engage or argue with another driver.  Most incidents, including near collisions, fender benders, and accidents, result in the involved parties exchanging insurance information and filing a police report if necessary.  If a motorist attempts to confront you on the roadway in a threatening manner and you’re unable to avert the situation, don’t get out of your vehicle. Instead, call the police or emergency personnel. 

2.  Maintain a Positive Attitude

  • If you've heard of the phrase "kill 'em with kindness," then you that some situations call for exactly this course of action.  When you begrudgingly allow a driver to squeeze into the lane in front of you and they fail to give you a wave of gratitude, or when a driver cuts you off completely, remaining calm and collected is of the absolute importance.  It's likely not the first time nor will it be the last time something of the sort happens to you so try not to take it personally.   Everyone on the road is trying to get somewhere, even if it seems like some of them are in no hurry to get there.  Combat the rudeness and disrespect of other drivers with an added dose of patience and courtesy.  

3.  Make the Drive Comfortable

  • Driving in a car that's not too hot or too cold is essential in reducing stress while driving.  In addition to maintaining the right cabin climate, ensure the drivers' seat and mirrors are adjusted for the comfortable operation of the vehicle.  
  • Wearing the right attire and comfortable shoes can also help to keep stress while driving at a minimum.  For commutes after a long day at work, consider keeping a pair of casual shoes in the vehicle for use during the drive.  

4.  Listen to Calming Music

  • Music has a unique way of setting the mood for variety of situations, so why not do the same for a stressful drive?  Rather than wait for your stress level to rise while on the road, begin your drive with the genre of music which helps you to stay calm.  Classical music is always a good choice but feel free to curate the style of music you find most relaxing.  

5.  Visualize Your Destination

  • Whether it's getting back home to your family, commuting to work to earn a living, or en route to a social gathering, making it to your desired location safely is the primary goal.  Block out all other distractions and focus on getting to your destination.  If necessary, take a break from driving and refocus yourself.  


Road rage can transform the potentially hazardous task of driving into a dangerous situation.  By committing to maintaining your composure engaging in an alternative to road rage, you can increase your safety and significantly your stress level while on the roadway.