Protecting Truckers From Road Rage
We live in an exciting time. Technological achievements are advancing further and further every year. Cars and trucks can now drive themselves, our phones give us an almost endless reach to a wealth of information, and scientific achievements are helping people live even longer. Despite these many accomplishments there exists a plague among us, though it is not an infectious disease, nor is it an insect attack of biblical proportion. In this post we uncover the ugly facts of this growing plague that is affecting millions of regular well-being people..
We are suffering from the plague of traffic congestion.
While truck drivers and those who work in the transportation industry make their living by driving and must use our roads, a large majority of those found on the roads are commuters. With the price of homes going up in areas in or around busy metropolitans, it is forcing more people to move further away in an effort to find affordable housing. However most of the available jobs are still found back inside that metropolis, which means most people will still need to drive back into the city. The number of these commuters is continuing to grow. Can you believe that in one year there was an estimated 15.4 million Canadians who commuted to work? If you are a long haul truck driver, perhaps you have even noticed the increasing number of cars on the road over the years.
Aside from the fact that all the cars and trucks on the road emit nitrogen oxides and some carcinogenic substances, there is another increasing danger within the growing number of motorists: road rage.
The Rage of the Road
“Aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of a road vehicle towards another motorist’s irritating act, usually expressed by rude gestures, verbal insults or using dangerous driving methods in an effort to intimidate other motorists.”
Here are some surprising statistics concerning the growing numbers of negative aspects regarding motorist road rage:
If you are a truck driver, no doubt you may have even witnessed the outbreak of someone’s rage on the road. You may well ask yourself: “If we are supposedly living in such an enlightened era, why is such uncontrolled rage so prevalent? Is it possible that we are all susceptible to this rage? What can I do to ensure that this rage never controls me?
Development of Rage
Rage occurs when you have feelings of intense anger. That anger converts to rage when you allow it to build and build until it erupts like a violent explosion. For those who let this outburst happen on the road, chances are it wasn’t the initial incident that set them off. Most likely it is due to the personal attitude and an accumulation of stress in the motorist’s life. Where does this stress come from?
The age we live in today allows us to remain constantly connected to the world around us. That may sound great, but what about when a person suffering from financial hardship can continually check, watch, and then stress about his bank account all day? It also seems as though as each of us are overwhelmed by information and are expected to absorb a colossal amount of it every day, both at work and in our personal lives.
Clearly we need to find a way to relax. Perhaps you think you have found the perfect solution to help you de-stress at the end of the day: chilling with your favorite Netflix show. But what are you watching?
Many popular shows enjoyed by many feature depictions of violence, death, and destruction. Our entertainment has been identified as reflecting our cultural values as a society. If our society is condoning violence and aggressive acts through entertainment, would not our individual values begin to evolve accordingly?
Most of us do not have the power to change the entire entertainment selection fueled by the masses, is it still possible to remain unscathed by the actions it encourages? What can we do to eliminate the factors that could cause us to ‘rage’?
What You Can Do
If you are a long haul truck driver, chances are you may frequently get stuck in traffic. Despite this, there are still many things you can do to safeguard your physical and mental health. The following are some helpful tips you can use before and during your travels.
Prepare in Advance
When a motorist ‘looses’ it in traffic, the built up stress may have begun at home. When a person wakes up late, trying to shower, eat, and get dressed will all be done in haste. The very thought of being late and having to rush can cause stress to begin, then when they hit traffic congestion the stress can escalate. A simple solution to this scenario is start your day the night before.
If you prepare your lunch, outfit, and personal effects needed for the next day, it will save you time and relieve some of the stress from feeling rushed. However, this is only truly effective if you get a good night’s sleep and wake up on time. Another beneficial tip is to make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Most truckers routinely check their rig, so this may already be a part of your habits. The last thing you want when you are traveling is to be delayed from a traffic jam breakdown.
Don’t Fool Yourself
If you are a truck driver, you already know that in most cases it is impossible to truly escape traffic congestion. Yes it would be amazing if the roads could remain clear and all motorists would treat each other with kindness and respect, however that seems more likely in a utopian dream world.
Despite all efforts municipalities make, it seems as though traffic congestion is here for the long haul. If you can accept that fact, then not only will any congestion not be a surprise, but you can be prepared for it and have the coping skills ready and keep your stress levels low.
“Know Before You Go”
A popular phrase commonly used by Transportation BC, most will comprehend it’s meaning by the time they are finished saying it. Road conditions, road closures, accidents, bad weather and other traffic reports are all factors that can influence your peace of mind as you drive. It doesn’t take long to check and see if there are any possible delays along your route. Most traffic report stations are even on social media in an effort to help you speed up your morning route checks.
Here are some great twitter feeds to help you beat the traffic and remain stress free on your drive:
Don’t Worry, Be Happy
“In every life we have some trouble. But when you worry you make it double”. While playing that song over and over on repeat may not necessarily ease your stress, the words do resonate some truth. Despite all of your efforts through efficient preparation, you may still find yourself caught in traffic surrounded by motorists driving with little care or attention for you. There is little you can do in that situation, other than make yourself comfortable.
Adjust the climate and vents in your vehicle so you can be as comfortable as possible. Tune into your favorite radio station or put on your favorite playlist. There are even some styles of music that have a calming effect and can help you relax. Most will agree that any type of music is better than the droning sound of traffic.
It is also important to note that there is a danger from being in a heightened emotional state, such as being angry or stressed after an argument. It is highly advisable that you wait until the feelings have subsided, or try to focus on something else in an effort to calm your emotions more quickly.
Day after day long haul truck drivers spend a majority of their time on the road. Because of this they are the most likely to succumb to increased anxiety from traffic congestion. Here at T&P we are always interested in our drivers. We want them to feel comfortable both mentally and physically when driving.
Many feel that truck drivers are the back bone of our economy, so we try to do our part by continually giving plenty of support to assist our drivers with their routes. This can mean either re-routing them away from major accidents or road closures, or keeping their routes simple and efficient to lower any stress about making it to their destinations on time. If they’re happy, then we are happy.