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How to avoid road rage and behave like a decent human being

Nishant Chhinkwani

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Gurpreet Singh, an impressionable 21 year old has been the latest victim of the goring incidences of road rage in India. Following an altercation, Gurpreet and his bike were crushed under the wheels of Rohan Kumar Mahanta’s car.

This, is no way, is an isolated incident in the country today. A study estimates nearly 33% of accidents occurring in our country. And in a country with one traffic accident occurring every 20 minutes, this number reaches alarming proportions.

There are numerous reasons for this spike in road rage incidents and fatalities including Increase in number of vehicles on the road, rising inability to keep tempers in check, even lack of adequate sleep for drivers!

So it is supremely important to follow a few necessary steps to ensure road rage does not envelope you while on the road and turn a perfectly polite human being like yourself into a road monster.

1.     Empathy is the key: Trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes is perhaps the wisest decision you can take on the road. Once you do that, chances of the situation escalating reduce drastically.

2.     Avoid Distractions: DO NOT MULTITASK ON THE ROAD. It’s not just your life at stake here; besides a focused mind will ensure you avoid situational mistakes, made by you and others.

3.     Prevention is better than cure: Avoid putting yourself in situations that would make you turn into a raging maniac. For example, if you know slow moving traffic drives you crazy, make sure you keep some extra time in your hand while leaving for your destination.

4.     Walk it off: In a situation where an altercation can turn ugly, it is sometimes best to park your car and take a walk for 5 minutes, away from the incident. You can come back and approach the mater in a calmer, more composed manner.

5.     Deep breaths will help you unwind: In case walking it off is not an option, breathe. Deep breathes will regularise your stress levels and ensure you do not fly off your handle.

6.     Listen to calming music: Laidback music while driving can bring down your rage and stress levels to a more manageable level, even in stressful situations. This would lead to fewer mistakes and more wheel control.

7.     Finally, don’t drive when you’re angry: If you know you’re prone to road rage while driving in stressful situations, it is best to leave the wheel to someone else. It might just save someone’s life, and yours too!

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