Maintaining an air of calmness during work is important whether you’re an employee or an owner driver. Jobs that involve a lot of time spent out on the road, however, can challenge even the most relaxed people. It’s sometimes difficult to keep your cool on crowded roads when you’ve got a deadline to hit, especially when others around you are angrily honking their horns or just being straight up oblivious to their surroundings.
Feeling frustrated and agitated while driving can lead to road rage, something most motorists are all too familiar with. While it usually manifests in the form of aggressively speeding and manoeuvring, there has been an alarming increase in physically violent incidents due to this phenomenon.
Unfortunately, you have no power over another’s actions – however, you do have control over how you respond in stressful situations. Here are some top tips for how to keep calm and courier on when the driving gets difficult.
Dodge Distress by Taking a Detour
The easiest way to avoid an angry outburst is to not get to that point of intense irritation in the first place. It’s very helpful to know your stressors and reduce them as much as possible. You may also want to try:
• taking deep breaths, • listening to relaxing music, • practising self-care to reduce fatigue (getting enough sleep, taking regular breaks, making sure you’re eating enough), • knowing where you’re going, • giving yourself enough time to complete your route without rushing and • receiving any available traffic alerts so you can miss traffic jams whenever possible.
Don’t Look Back in Anger
It’s more than likely that there will be other drivers on the road who will grind your gears – but responding angrily to their outbursts won’t help anything. When someone finds themselves filled with rage, they often begin looking for any excuse to escalate. Remember that it’s not worth it, and do everything in your power to avoid intensifying the situation. Be the bigger person by:
• ignoring those who are looking for a fight (if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all) or, • giving them a wave or a smile (kindness is contagious – not to mention, it’s quite satisfying watching someone realise they’re not able to get a rise out of you).
What’s in a Name?
Remember that you’re representing the business you work for and its owner. Driver jobs are often the public face of your employer – after all, you’re travelling with their name on your uniform and vehicle – so negative or aggressive reactions can potentially harm their reputation. Help your company succeed by remembering you’re representing a larger cause and putting your best foot forward.
Whether you’re an employee of a company or an owner driver, jobs that take you out on the road can be a challenge, at times. It takes a very special person to keep their cool and control their road rage. Utilise these tips and make the world a better place by simply doing nothing.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ‘wholesale’ environment.