Staying Calm on the Road

Staying Calm on the Road

In our world of never-ending stressors and constant day-to-day challenges staying calm behind the wheel does not seem like it should be a top priority. However if the highways, byways and inner-city roadways happen to be your workplace keeping your cool while on the job can be a matter of life or death to both you and the occupants of the vehicles all around you.

Let’s face it, humans do not have the best track-record of being ‘nice’ to each other and there is certainly something about operating a vehicle that can bring out the absolute worst in people. So when getting from A to B is literally ‘your job’ your priority at the end of the day needs to be remaining calm and driving on.

Road Rage

Whether you are a long-haul truck driver or a self employed courier chances are we’ve all encountered some form of road rage on an almost daily basis during our years behind the wheel. The most common forms are generally aggressive manoeuvring and speeding, although in recent years the level of actual violence originating from road rage incidents has increased. So, given that we cannot control other people’s behaviour our power lies in the way we respond to it.

Zen Master

A few tips on becoming, and maintaining, a zen-like state while on the road can vary according to the situation.

  • Anger begets anger. In an altercation both sides are generally looking to escalate each other’s response to aggressive actions. Don’t be provoked into endangering yourself and others purely to get back at another driver’s baiting.
  • Kill them with kindness. Although it may be the last thing you want to do, giving a friendly wave or a smile at the motorist hassling you will keep you in control. Your lack of response will usually frustrate them into giving up and moving on.

It’s all about You

On the flip-side it is fair to say that the drivers most likely to experience road rage are those who spend the most time on it. It is worth remembering that our actions represent a larger cause.

If your vehicle has your employer’s name emblazoned all over it you are a walking talking, and driving representative of that company. More importantly a self employed courier or driver puts his reputation on the line every time he gets behind the wheel. The success or failure of your business is at stake so staying calm is more important than ever.

These are a few ways to give yourself the best chance.

  • Be sure to know your route and give yourself plenty of time.
  • Use your Sat nav and any traffic alerts available. Avoiding an existing traffic jam can save your sanity.
  • Take deep breaths.
  • Choose your music carefully to keep yourself in a more relaxed state.
  • Be sure to avoid fatigue by taking breaks, eating regularly and get a good night’s sleep so you can hit the road rested and ready for the day.

Fundamentally, we all know that driving as a self employed courier or a truck driver will always be a job that comes with frustrations and requires nerves of steel. Remember why you do this job and all the good reasons that it keeps you behind the wheel. It takes a particular set of skills to survive the road, have you got them?

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