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Tame your Road Rage with these 10 tips to a Comfier Commute

Here are some tips on how to relax, enjoy the ride, and tame your road rage on your daily commute.
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In 2012 a study showed that 8 in 10 Canadians admitted to being guilty of road rage. Drivers admitted to speeding, tailgating, using profanity at other drivers, and cutting people off. Some expressions of road rage have even been taken even further. In 2013, just outside of Toronto in Oakville a man stabbed and killed another man over a parking spot dispute. In April 2014, it was reported that a man and his two young children were pepper sprayed in a road rage incident in British Columbia. More recently, in Manitoba this past November, two drivers had an altercation. One got out of his car, and was struck by the opposing vehicle and died from injuries. Police are calling it a Road Rage Murder.

“Road Rage,” refers to a driver’s intense anger when reacting to a perceived injustice by another driver. Canadians are suffering from more stress and more exhaustion than ever before and people are releasing their frustrations on the road…and it’s only getting worse. Before it does, here are 10 ways to fix what’s bothering you during your daily commute:

1. Problem: Backaches.

Solution: Think about how much time you spend sitting in your car, or at your job, or standing at your job. This can be harsh on your back. Do you have lumbar support in your car seats? Fiddle with the settings! Ensure your utmost comfort when driving. If you don’t have lumbar support seats, go to the store and invest in one. For around $100.00 you can get a lumbar support cushion that not only has lumbar but also the ability to heat up and massage your back at the click of a button. Who wouldn’t love a massage after a long day at work?

a man rubbing his lower back as a result of backaches

Lumbar support: The lower part of a human’s back is referred to as the lumbar region. Some vehicles come with built in lumbar support in their seats. It is adjustable and allows you to give yourself good posture. It has been found to aid in preventing lower-back pain.

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2. Problem: Blind Spots.

Solution: Blind Spot Mirrors! Have you heard of them? They are small mirrors that you can buy for under $30. They attach to your car’s mirror without any extensive installation and they aim toward your blind spot. Knowing that you have maximum visibility in your car makes you feel safe and comfortable. Give yourself one less thing to worry about!

3. Problem: You’re in a rush.

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Solution: You’re running late for a job interview. You’re late to pick up the kids from piano lessons. You’re behind schedule on making deliveries. Nothing is worse than driving with the discomfort of fretfulness! No, it’s not the guy in front of you’s fault that you’re not on time! He’s doing the legal speed limit! Give yourself ample time to get where you need to go and always plan for traffic. Give yourself at least 15 extra minutes when estimating your travel time for shorter journeys. For longer journey’s leave an hour early if you have to; it’s a safer choice and will allow you to show up feeling cool, calm and collected.

woman looking at her watch in the car

4. Problem: You’ve been sitting in traffic for over 30 minutes now and you just want to go home! You’re getting impatient and the car is starting to feel stuffy.

Solution: Open the windows quickly every once in a while (even in the winter) just to give yourself some fresh air. Let it in to air out the car! It will wake you up and make the next 20 minutes more bearable!

5. Problem: Gridlock.

Solution: If you have a paid toll highway along your route cave in and buy a toll highway pass. It might be an extra expense to pay, but it is worth it. Think about the gas money you waste letting your engine run while it sits in traffic on the highway for over half an hour. Not to mention the angst you build up during the commute. You might as well spend the extra money getting home in less time and in a better mood.

 a highway packed with cars giving drivers road rage

6. Problem: You’re hungry and cranky.

Solution: This has happened to all of us! You need to start packing some snacks! Making a smoothie for the commute helps and it’s a healthy choice. You can also prepare some unsalted almonds in a container. Almonds are a great snack that will not go bad if you leave them overnight in your car.

eating on your daily commute

7. Problem: You’re too hot/You’re too cold.

Solution: Find your preferred temperature before you drive. A common misconception is that in the winter we need to have the heat blasting at us in order to be comfortable. Who wants to be overly hot when they’re exhausted, hungry and stuck in frustrating traffic? Not me! Personally, I keep my winter coat in the back seat if I know I’ll be driving for a while. This allows me to have lots of space to move around as well as maintain the perfect temperature for my commute.

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8. Problem: Terrible radio music.

Solution: Download a bunch of songs to your phone or mp3 device. Give yourself some options too! Throw in a few soothing ocean sounds and soft tunes. Nothing makes a commute go by faster than music! If you’re looking for a calming song, I highly recommend Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major.

two women listening to music on your daily commute

9. Problem: Phone Calls.

Solution: Invest in a hands free device. I do not recommend touching your phone when driving at all. If there’s an emergency, let’s not add to it by getting in a car accident because you rushed to answer your phone. If your vehicle didn’t come with the ability to connect to your car through Bluetooth, there are so many other options. Go to any electronic store and find out what hands-free devices you can invest in for the car. If your vehicle has an auxiliary input you can connect your phone to a cord. The auxiliary cord costs $20.00 and it allows you to hear your friend through your vehicle’s speakers.

hands free phone

10. Problem: Sneezing and an itchy nose while driving! Why does this keep happening? It’s not allergy season…I’m not sick…I just wiped down all of the dust in here!

Solution: Change your cabin air filter! It’s not imperative that you change your cabin air filter frequently, but you should be changing it once every 12 months. This filter cleanses the air that comes into the inside of your car; the air you breathe. It helps stop dust particles, pollen, and toxins from coming into your space while you drive. No matter how much you dust your car or think it’s clean, if your cabin air filter needs to be changed it will not make a difference.

The best way to enjoy driving is to ensure safety and stay calm. You love your car. You worked hard for it! Make your commute more comfortable so that you love cruising in it just like the first day you got it.

RELATED: 10 daily driving tips to help your vehicle last longer and save you money

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