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Can your mood be deadly behind the wheel?

Driving can be both exciting and stressful. Your car can take you to places you love or places you dread.

As you travel down the road, other factors can enhance or detract from your mood. Encountering a driver who does not use a signal followed by yet another driver who exits or enters the highway at the last minute can compound your emotions until you become angry.

Here’s what you should know before you drive with strong emotions.

The beginning of road rage

When considering the times you became angry while driving in the past, the situation may not have been as bad as it seemed at the time. At that moment, the action of the other driver may have seemed offensive and dangerous. Now, however, it is likely difficult to recall why it made you so upset.

Often, it is not another driver’s behavior that sent you into a rage. More likely, other negative events during the day escalated until you were suddenly angry about a forgotten turn signal.

The anger itself, however, is not the biggest problem. It is how you handle the anger. For some, rage behind the wheel can turn into dangerous behaviors such as speeding, which can easily turn a fender-bender into a fatal collision.

Start by believing the best

Drivers make mistakes. As you and other drivers make your way down the road, there is a multitude of information flooding your brain, and we are all unlikely to make the best decisions for each situation.

When another driver does something rude, consider that it may be an honest mistake. Often, drivers are not intentionally making decisions that will cause themselves and others harm. You can further protect yourself and your mental wellbeing by practicing defensive driving.

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