How to avoid road rage as a motorcyclist

We’ve all seen countless videos of road rage on YouTube.

Some are funny, some downright bizarre, while others are simply dangerous beyond belief.

When riding on two wheels, you’re at something of a disadvantage, because you’re smaller, take up less road space and therefore more likely to escape the attentions of other road users.

Often, that results in a swift hand gesture (or two) before everyone gets on with their day. But what if you can’t control the rage that builds within during such incidents? What if your inner road rage demons always take over?

Good news: we’ve got six tips for keeping road rage at bay as a motorcyclist.

1. Keep your environment calm

Make your bike a happy place to be. If you can and it’s safe to do so, listen to music that makes you calm. Wear the best possible clothing that feels comfortable. Do everything you can to remain as stress-free as possible.

2. Allow plenty of time for journeys

Road rage often takes place when people are in a rush. If you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, you’ll be less inclined to make snap judgements of incidents on the road and you’ll feel calmer, to boot.

3. Relax your grip

Clearly, you don’t want to fall off your bike, but there’s no reason to grip onto the handles as though your life depends on it. Instead, maintain a firm but relaxed grip, which will lower the tension in your body and make you feel more at ease with the road.

4. Take deep breaths

This works in all kinds of stressful situations, and is particularly effective on the road. When another road user annoys you, take some deep breaths. Slow breathing will reduce your stress level and immediately make you feel calmer; getting oxygen into the brain is one of the best ways to put yourself in a positive frame of mind.

5. Find alternative routes

If you know there’s a stretch of the route you normally take which is prone to incidents and encounters that will make your blood boil, take a different route. Even if it’s longer, a blast on quiet back roads to your destination will result in a far more satisfying ride.

6. Get plenty of sleep

Never ride tired. You’ll risk injuring yourself, but you’ll also inevitably end up in fits of rage when someone does something wrong on the road.

And finally: if things really get bad, get off!

If you’ve got yourself involved in a really bad incident of road rage and the other person has since cleared off, find a suitable place to pull over, and get off your bike. Take a breather - calm down. The worst thing you can do when feeling like that is to continue riding.

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