Tip Sheet

Keep calm and drive: Top Gear PH tips on preventing road rage

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Keep calm and drive: Top Gear Philippines' road-rage prevention tips

Not a year goes by without a single, outrageous case of road rage making it to the headlines. These days, such incidents also trend on social media, with netizens conducting their own trial (usually by bashing the culprit).

But for now, let's stop casting stones and fight road rage together. Because admit it: You once honked your horn unnecessarily. You once cursed endlessly because of a reckless driver. And you once loathed a traffic enforcer. Do remember that in addition to a person's daily anxiety sources, there exist constant stressors, the monstrous traffic jam among them.

So, how can you keep your cool while you're behind the wheel? We asked our team members to share their most effective road-rage prevention tips. Read on and feel free to share your own in the comment box below.

* Stick a photo of your family--especially kids, if you're a parent--to the sun visor. Look at the photo every time you get the urge to curse at another motorist. You'll be reminded that life is still beautiful in spite of stupid drivers that occasionally get in your way. - Vernon B. Sarne, editor in chief

* EQ and self-control are mental muscles you need to strengthen. Work out every day, and you'll be a better person as you grow older. But always keep your phone charged to capture the next bastard who loses it on the road. - Dinzo Tabamo, online associate editor

* Let every effing annoying thing go. I make up my own excuses for the driver, even though I have no means of verifying them. The classic imaginary excuse is that they have to rush to the bathroom. And when I can't think of any, I will then justify my urge to sing Frozen's 'Let It Go.' - Tracy Carpena, online managing editor

* I usually get upset when a driver turns left or right without using his signal lights. I just think about the time and energy I'll waste if I get angry. So I just let it pass. Just remember that these annoying motorists are also taxpayers, so like you, they're entitled to use the road. - Raynand Olarte, art director

* Never rush to where you are going. If drivers around me are jerks, I just keep calm and place myself above it all. I assume other drivers are crazy and capable of extreme violence, so I keep my distance. It isn't worth it to get into a fight. - Paulo Rafael Subido, print associate editor

* Eat chocolates to take your mind off the stressful situation. - Stephanie Maureen Asi, print managing editor

* It's irritating as there are only a few courteous drivers, but you have to think of the bigger picture. Get into an argument, and then what? - Jason dela Cruz, test drive editor

* Plan your trips and schedule them properly. The more prepared you are in keeping a schedule, the less anxious and stressed you will be. Your schedule serves as goalposts for your progress and accomplishments each day. A priest taught me that. - Botchi Santos, consumer editor

* Simply accept that some people are born to be pricks, so just let it go. - Ferman Lao, technical editor

Any offensive driving is nothing personal against you. It's nothing to get upset about. - Robby Consunji, off-road editor

* Place a really humorous bumper sticker. - Beeboy Bargas, associate off-road editor

* Play happy, catchy songs to get rid of the negative mood. Sing along if you must. - Elaine Lara, editorial assistant

* Exchange every opportunity for road rage with a chance to be extra courteous. Take a deep breath, relax and give another motorist or pedestrian a break. I also remind myself that cameras are everywhere, and I wouldn't want to see myself go viral on Top Gear Philippines' Facebook page. - Andy Leuterio, writer and online columnist

* Don't honk your horn. It just puts stress on yourself and everyone around you. - Mikko David, photographer and blogger

* Imagine your lola is the one driving the other vehicle. Believe in karma, both good and bad. - Carlo Chungunco, writer

* Watch your blood sugar. Hunger-related stress feeds road rage just as surely as that PUV driver blocking both lanes ahead. Have a steady supply of crackers and drinks. Or better yet, stop for a snack. Chocolates are a quick serotonin fix, but the sugar rush from sweets is often followed by a sugar crash, which can make you even more irritable than before. That's the life of a diabetic driver. - Niky Tamayo, writer

I always remind myself of this Bruce Lee quote: "A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough." Stay cool and keep calm, my friends. - Andrew Guerrero, writer

* Install a karaoke or videoke system. Always go for a 100% score! - Aris Ilagan, print columnist

* I just keep silent. - The Stig, tame racing driver

Another tip: If you always seethe in anger each time you drive, consider seeking psychological help. It may be a sign of intermittent explosive disorder.

Artwork by Lloyd de Guzman

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