Let’s just say what we’re all thinking. Mother Nature can be cruel and temperamental. One second it’s absolutely beautiful, the next you’re sweating buckets and can’t breathe. Not only is this frustrating, but when the weather makes you and the people around you uncomfortable, the situation can also become dangerous.
It’s an unfortunate reality that when people are uncomfortable, they are more prone to become irritable, unfocused, grumpy, and unsympathetic. Now, consider what happens when those qualities dominate a car driver who is stuck in traffic and getting hotter and hotter and more uncomfortable every second. That’s right: this is a recipe for disaster.
Summer Road Rage and Tips on How to Keep Your Cool
According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, a substantial percentage of the 6.8 million annual car accidents are caused by road rage and aggressive driving. This means that your risks of getting into an accident as a result of road rage are extremely high, especially during the sticky summer months.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about the weather and the mood swings that accompany hot and humid summers. You can, however, help control your own temper. By following the warm weather driving tips below, you’ll not only help prevent yourself from causing a road rage accident, but you can also improve your focus and attention to avoid being injured by other irritated drivers.
- Decrease your stress level by lowering your body temperature. Open windows, turn on the air conditioning, or place something cool on your neck to work on increasing your comfort level. Remember: when your body is hot, it mimics the effects of anger—faster heart rate, increased blood pressure, sweating, and an overall feeling of agitation and misery—which can fool your brain into thinking you’re angry and could cause you to behave recklessly.
- Make sure you can breathe. Increase your airflow by either opening opposite windows to create a breeze or directing your air vents toward you and turning them to high. Stale or stagnant air can be difficult to breathe and cause increased stress, claustrophobia, and high blood pressure, resulting in the fight-or-flight impulses of road rage.
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause you to become extremely irritable. Always have cold water in your car on hot days, especially if you anticipate a long drive. Stick with water, if possible; coffee and soda don’t hydrate as well.
- Be prepared. Keep a warm weather kit in your car for both you and your family. Activities and games can help keep the kids busy and ward off crankiness, which will reduce your stress. Extra water and food such as granola bars, dried fruit, and nuts will keep your blood sugar up and ward off hunger and dehydration. Cooling packs or alcohol wipes can be used to cool the backs of necks to lower body temperature, and a map of the area can help you find alternative routes to take during high traffic periods
Don’t allow Mother Nature to raise your temperature. Avoid road rage and accident risks by preparing ahead for long summer drives and hot traffic jams. You’ll not only avoid catastrophic accident injuries and keep your cool while driving, but you may actually begin to enjoy the heat.
If you have any road rage techniques or tips on how to stay cool this summer, please share them in the comment section. You never know what advice may help others avoid disaster.
Need more info on road rage accidents or collision injury rights? Contact us today at (888) 244-5957 for a free consultation. You may be eligible to have your lost income and medical bills paid for you if your accident was caused by an irritable driver.