As a professional driver, traffic jams are only part of the daily job. But the more overloaded roads, the more stressful the driving experience.
Unfortunately, where there is stress, there is potential for aggression on the road. It is shockingly normal. A AAA report revealed that 80% of drivers experience some sort of aggression behind the wheel.
These feelings of aggression can manifest themselves when people dramatically come to a scuffle on the side of the road or the more passive version (read: hand gestures, honking and tailgating).
These aggressive actions are also part of the job of truck drivers, but can cause enormous amounts of stress while driving in large quantities.
Do you want to know how you can reduce stress while driving? Here are five ways you can reduce stress and the risk of aggression on the road.
- Lower your expectations
No driver is perfect. If that were the case, a traffic accident would never occur again. To prevent aggression on the road, we all have to lower our expectations. Be prepared for someone to come up against you at some point. If it happens then you are less angry.
- We all make mistakes
Truck drivers know better than anyone that things can go wrong within a second. Everyone behind the wheel is just a person and there are things going on in everyone’s life. Errors happen and empathy can do a lot in these situations.
- Some things are beyond your control
As much as we would like, nobody has control over the actions of other drivers. The only thing we can do is determine how we respond to it. Proven calming techniques include deep breathing and counting to ten. Frankly, they can do wonders for your blood pressure.
- Go slowly
Most truck drivers know that in heavy traffic it is safer to drive about 10 kilometers slower than other drivers. It gives cars more room to come for you than to cut you off.
- Listen to podcasts
I don’t mean listening to stress-relieving, calming podcasts – I mean every podcast that will keep your attention and interest. If podcasts aren’t your thing, put together a playlist of your favorite songs.
As a truck driver, driving is your job. It is how you earn a salary (although thinking about the measly wages is enough to cause a sense of aggression in itself). Do what you can to stay happy behind the wheel and keep the feeling of aggression at bay.