Do You Road Rage? Why We Do, and What We Can Do About It

Living in a city like Los Angeles requires a commute on some form of Freeway (too many to list), a journey through bumper to bumper surface streets, and possibly a walk. All of this is cemented between our daily stressors of work and family.

It’s often common for us to leave home upset around time management issues, conflicts with loved ones, or the dread of going to a place of employment. How can this not affect us? Most of us are also aware that there is an unofficial “Rules of the Road” handbook that establishes polite behavior, which is not followed by many. The perfect storm of impolite driving (unsafe, or self-righteous), and an average person’s bad day can lead to escalations that are unsafe for all parties. Most of us would call this sudden explosion of anger, Road Rage.

While the actions of others remain out of our control, we can be more mindful of our own state as we enter our cars. When a person makes a physical check of possible obstructions prior to pulling out of a space, they are hyper aware. Their eyes search all mirrors for people, dogs, and other cars as if life depended on it, and in many ways this is true. We can also look inward, within ourselves. Creating an awareness of how you are feeling prior to starting the ignition, can be helpful in creating awareness of where you are at.

Road Rage is related to the tipping point of our agitation. What is your frustration tolerance at that particular time, on that particular day? Some people appear to always be at a high frustration level, but for others, irritation can sneak up more slowly. What are the daily obstacles we still have in front of us? Maybe there is a specific meeting, appointment, or a time we have to pick up our kids. It could be the time of day we depart such as rush hour, or a work related task that still lingers on our mind. Are we late? There is an infinite amount of possible stressors, and personal drama or what we might call personal crisis situations (hey it seems like a crisis to us!), but when paired with inconsiderate drivers things can explode.

If we were to rank our personal wellbeing on a scale of 1-10, with one being Buddha, and 10 being Hulk, most likely we all live in a 3 most of the time. It’s once we cross 5 or 6, that we want to become more mindful of Road Rage triggers, and our own body awareness. This is the time we can course correct, prior to further and potentially more dangerous escalation.

Every person has a different anger response. If we begin to track our outbursts, we become more aware of the patterns in our triggers. This is where we can consciously begin to change patterns and replace or alter behaviors. Tracking body symptoms prior to outburst (twitching eye, flushed face, rapid breathing, warm forehead, watery eyes, itchy shoulders or neck, clenching, etc..), can be helpful in establishing patterns, but we need to work on better planning to implement prior to these escalations.

Listening to the radio, taking deep and purposeful breaths, or talking to a good friend or family member can be helpful. Avoiding conflicts while driving is a good rule of thumb as well. When a person is riding at an 8 or 9, it does not take much to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. As our mindfulness and self-awareness increase, it’s easier to make better choices, and do the things we need to do to be safe.

Distracted Driving Is a Bigger Problem Than We Thought

The numbers do not lie: 37,150 people in the US died due to distracted driving in 2017. But, sadly that is not the worst part of the news. Researchers are finding that there is no single cause to preventing distracted driving.

This means that there is no direct route to a solution resulting in more and more deaths. Right now, the only thing proven to work is to spread awareness about distracted driving.

Another thing that experts are deciding to try is how to make smartphone connectivity to cars to take less attention. Almost every new car on the market makes it easy to connect your phone to your car.

You are able to stream music, map directions, and in some cases even order food, coffee, etc. This is taking many drivers’ attention away from the road, in drivers aged 17 to 22 spend at least 12% of their time behind the wheel messing with their smart phones. Any percentage of time on your phone behind the wheel is too much time directed away from the road.

Both Apple and Android have their own extensions for cars. At one point Apple demanded more of customers’ attention than the Android version when entering directions and getting from one place to another. But, when it came to texting Android was by far more of a distraction. However, both must make a change to reduce the threat of distracted driving.

With all of the new tech in cars, come inward facing cameras. Some people are not okay with that for privacy reasons which is understandable as to a degree, it is a basic right, in most peoples’ eyes. However, these cameras may help develop self-driving cars with the data it collects. Additionally, it may be our answer to solving the distracted driving epidemic.

The data the cameras collected from crashes and everyday driving habits can be analyzed by experts to determine how to make the new technology in vehicles less cognitively demanding or even develop an algorithm to prevent inappropriate use while the vehicle is in motion.

But, how much privacy are consumers really willing to give up? How much of their data are companies entitled to? Right now, there is not much regulation, but it is probably coming soon as new cars will soon all have this technology.

There must be some type of compromise because when this data is used appropriately, breakthroughs can happen. For example, a lot of the tracking built into these cars can prevent crimes. A lot of the data provided can solve the mystery of crashes, including distracted driving crashes and provoke ideas on how to prevent them. The results can save money on auto insurance, medical bills, and most importantly lives which are priceless.

Self Growth Techniques for Personal Success

What is self growth? It is about shaping yourself to become a better person with solid values, ethics and a well balanced approach to life. It is the process of working on your areas of improvement and turning them into areas of strength and opportunities. Just how can you do that? Here are five simple techniques for starters:

1. Learn from others. Start with your immediate family and closest friends. What are some of their traits that you admire? What have they accomplished that makes you want to be like them? Talk to them and ask them what they did to achieve self growth that led to their professional and personal success. Then check out famous people whose work you admire and read articles on how they got to the top of their profession. Learn as much as you can about their individual techniques and see which ones you can adopt for yourself.

2. Observe admirable people. Look at how they conduct themselves, from the way they walk, talk, sit and generally behave in public. Such refinement can only be a product of effective self growth techniques, which include polishing one’s looks, movements and skill sets to complete the overall package of the person. Look at how they treat others and are treated in turn. You can take a page out of their demeanor to propel yourself towards personal success and professional recognition. This isn’t to say you should mimic their every move; just derive the best practices possible from them that you can employ for your own good.

3. Assess your own attitude. How have you been behaving by your lonesome? Are you a person of integrity – always doing the right thing even when no one is looking? How are you with other people around? Do you exercise kindness and consideration for others, or are you being fueled by your own selfish needs for personal success? Bear in mind that in order to succeed at self growth, you must possess a mature disposition and a kind heart. Aim to be a caring and morally upright person no matter where you go. The universe has a way of rewarding people who treat others well and punishing those who won’t hesitate to trample on the feelings and rights of others.

4. Envision the kind of person you would like to be one day. This is a great self growth exercise that can provide you inspiration on your journey to professional and personal success. Paint a picture of the Ideal You – the kind of individual you wish to become in the future. How do you see yourself in that image? Do you see a nation-building politician, the next Mother Teresa, or the next Steve Jobs? Use your imagination as your mood board to guide you as you work on your greatest ambition.

5. Get rid of vices that may be harmful to your self growth. Are you quick to turn to painkillers when you feel the slightest muscle twitch? Do you tend to gorge on sugary snacks and drinks to keep your energy levels up as you slave over a very important project? Remove all self destructive habits from your system and start living clean! You won’t be able to enjoy personal success if your health takes a nosedive and renders you bedridden most of the time. So go have that physical check up and get tips from your physician and nutritionist on how to live a healthier and more wholesome lifestyle.