The life of a truck driver can be tough at times. This can result in the occasional bout of road rage during your journeys.
While we all can get annoyed or agitated behind the wheel, road rage is a different type of issue. This heightened level of anger can cause even the most grounded person to become aggressive or erratic.
Such a reaction is dangerous no matter what you’re piloting, but especially when you’re behind the wheel of a commercial rig. Luckily, there are ways you can stay cool, calm, and collected no matter what the journey throws at you.
Today we’ll talk a bit about road rage in the commercial trucking industry and strategies for letting cooler heads prevail.
What is Road Rage? Why Are Truckers More Susceptible?
Road rage can refer to a wide range of reactions on the open road, from minor annoyance to extreme frustration. But according to some definitions, this term is actually used to describe dangerous reactions of drivers that can result in aggression and violence.
The road can be a very demanding place, where strangers must share space and count on one another to do the right thing over the course of hundreds of miles. Such an environment is bound to lead to disagreements, which can boil over into road rage incidents.
We’ve all had the frustration of getting stuck behind a slow car - or maybe being on the other side of the equation, and being tailgated by someone behind us. Then there’s the matter of being cut off, swerved in front of, honked at, or even cursed at by other drivers.
It’s easy for any driver to lose their temper under the above conditions. But especially for truck drivers, the road rage temptation runs even stronger.
Common Triggers of Trucker Road Rage
Truckers are typically very responsible and thoughtful people. After all, they travel across states and sometimes the entire country making timely deliveries, often by themselves. But the distance, the solitude, and more can create a tense environment.
Truckers are often more susceptible to strong emotions on the road, because they’re:
● Stuck behind the wheel for long periods of time
● Away from their loved ones and often all alone
● Traveling through unfamiliar territory as an outsider
● Away from their favorite restaurants and amenities
● Constantly trying to stay on schedule with their deliveries
The lack of companionship and familiarity, coupled with the constant presence of newness and adherence to a time clock, can make a trucker feel tense and make them more susceptible to reacting harshly toward road annoyances.
Simple Ways to Resist Road Rage as a Trucker
When it comes to the threat of road rage, as defined as a conflict between drivers that escalates to potential danger, there’s one simple strategy that can set you free from this fear.
That strategy is defined in three words – let it go.
When we get cut off, flipped off, honked at, or tailgated, it’s easy to grow frustrated and consider retaliating. But it’s important to remember that no driver is worth your precious attention to the point that you endanger yourself or others.
Be aware of other drivers, drive defensively, and do all you can to stay safe on the road. Sometimes this may mean accepting that other drivers don’t follow the same standards you do. But by letting go of the frustration, and freeing yourself from the need to retaliate or engage with the sources of your ire, you take their power away.
Remind yourself that your attention is far too precious to waste on another driver who could be acting irrationally, having a bad day, or not in their right mind. Your attention is best focused on your destination, as well as the life you have waiting for you at home.
Prepare Your Mind Like Your Rig
Just as a truck driver prepares their rig for the journey ahead, they should also prepare their mind. After all, this is the power source that ultimately directs your trip, so you should take care of it accordingly.
There are a few ways you can keep a proper mindset as you prepare to get on the road. Some helpful tips to follow include:
● Meditate, with a focus on letting thoughts come and go freely
● Get plenty of sleep, so you’re less likely to be irritable
● Eat healthy, so you have more energy, focus, and patience
By taking care of your body and your mind before the trip, you prepare for whatever the road holds for you. It doesn’t mean you won’t experience annoyances, but it does mean you won’t be as likely to let them bother you.
Use Comedy to Offset Frustration
Even the most well-prepared trucker can potentially succumb to some frustration as their trip rolls on, and the annoyances of the road rack up. One way to offset these feelings is by relying on humor.
Comedy shows are a great source of entertainment to have playing in the cab. When you stop for the night, try checking out funny videos or reading up on jokes. Laughter is truly the best medicine, and using it can help take the anger right out of you.
Who knows? With this approach, the next time a driver cuts you off or blares their horn, you may be more prone to chuckle than anything else.
The Benefits of Avoiding Road Rage as a Truck Driver
Overall, a trucker’s primary obligation is to remain safe on the road. By learning to control your reactions and your temper, you play your part in creating a safer driving environment for yourself and for others.
Road rage is merely an annoyance that escalates. When you learn to let these frustrations go and prepare yourself to deal with them, you’ll have a better journey every time.
We work to create a supportive and calm work environment – contact Trans Lines today if you’re interested in a potential job opportunity.