Driving Test Stress and Road Rage.

Cool head…clear mind = safe travelling.

Stress and anxiety underpin both these issues, deal with these and you begin to be the driver you and everyone else on the road wants you to be.

ROAD RAGE IN UK 

 

29% victims in South East of England

18% in North of England

15% in eastern England

6% in Scotland

5% in Wales

Research has suggested the UK has the worst road rage in the world

Nearly nine in 10 UK drivers say they have been road rage victims at least once, a survey of drivers has found.

While 20% said they had experienced road rage more than 10 times, more than 70% admitted committing the offence themselves. Only 14% showed any remorse and said their bad mood had affected their actions.

The most common action was gesticulating, while in one in seven cases victims faced an aggressor who got out of the car and physically or verbally abused them. Road rage seems to be linked to congestion and stress, as most incidents occur in the busier towns and cities.

The most common location for road rage is in a town (54%).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3146781.stm

 

Top Ten Tips to Mindful DrivingA Quiet Place®

 

 Cool head…Clear Mind

Road rage: As the roads get busier and busier, people seem to have proportionally less patience. Half of drivers when confronted with aggressive driving respond in kind thus escalating the situation.. Of these approximately:

  • 54% are men
  • 67% are drivers between 18 and 24 
  • 45% are  drivers with children
  • 59% are cell phone users

Anxiety states are a normal response to a situation where something is perceived as a threat to our well being. Chronic stress results in a variety of symptoms from mild to severe and is now thought to be key to our general health. Here are a few tips to help you recognise and manage anxiety states

  1. Recognise driving is often stressful
  • Driving can be stressful although each person feels stress differently, know your patience limits and make sure you are responsible for looking after yourself.
  1. Understand how your body responds to stress in difficult situations.
  • Know your body well enough to listen and notice when your inner volcano is about to set off! Are you getting into a stressed out state?
  1. Posture – Observe your posture. Are you sitting up straight,
  • Sit upright with your spine back into the driving seat, body relaxed around the upright spine, arms easy and hands at 10 to 4 on the wheel.
  1. Tension is the great give away to stress, for example you may be clenching your fists or holding your neck muscles too tightly.
  • Notice any tension in your body or face-Breathe in and tense your muscles for 5 seconds, breathe out and relax, do this 3 times.


  1. Observe your breathing, is it fast or slow, deep or shallow, regular or irregular. Deepen your breath, breathe into your abdomen to the count of 4 and out to the count of 6.Breathing –
     Your lungs are custom built for your body. 20% of the oxygen goes to the brain. Therefore if you are not breathing properly you are not thinking clearly
  • Focus on your heart, breathe in to the count of five out to the count of 5.
  1. Thoughts – notice your thoughts, your language, are you getting in an angry loop?
  • Notice how much better a driver you are than the person you have perceived to be driving, discourteously, selfishly or dangerously.
  • Say to yourself to your body’s natural breathing pattern ‘I breathe in…I breathe out…(5 times)
  • Be mindful of yourself and those around you on the road, keeping yourself out of harm’s way.
  1. Enjoy – even in difficult circumstance there are often things to enjoy, nature for example. When you pretend to be happy your body chemistry actually releases happy chemicals.
  • Smile-even if you don’t feel like it,
  • Notice the positive things around you
  • Sing out loud
  •  Play some relaxing music (Baroque or Route 66 as you prefer!)
  • Breathe!

Desiderata

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its shams, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy

Max Ehrmann