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Impatient Drivers Essay Contest

  • 1

    Keep your driving environment calm. Making your car a happy, peaceful place will help keep your road anger at bay. Listen to music that makes you happy or that calms you down. Creating a positive driving environment will help keep you calm during your commute and aid you in ignoring the road rage of others.[1][2]
    • Listening to audio books is one good way to remain calm during a long commute.
  • 2

    Allow yourself plenty of time. Being late will make you anxious and impatient, so you'll be more likely to get angry at other drivers or make irresponsible driving decisions that will make them angry at you. Leaving yourself plenty of drive time will help you stay relaxed.[3]

  • 3

    Relax your grip. If you begin to clench the steering wheel while driving, wiggle your fingers and then try to hold the wheel with a more relaxed grip. You will retain control of the car, while feeling less tense.[4]

  • 4

    Use cruise control. If your vehicle has cruise control and road conditions will allow it, using this feature will give your right leg a break and may make you feel less stressed.[5]
    • You should only use cruise control in situations where you can drive safely at the same speed for extended periods of time – use manual control in stop-and-go traffic situations.
  • 5

    Take a deep breath. If you feel yourself getting tense and anxious, take several slow, deep breaths. This should calm you down. Roll your window down every now and then, to let in some fresh air.[6]

  • 6

    Keep your car and its windshield clean. Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, clutter can cause stressful feelings. Trying to see through a dirty windshield, or struggling to clean a dirty windshield with the wiper fluid every few minutes, will also cause you feel anxious and tense – feelings which can quickly lead to road rage.[7]

  • 7

    Take a break if you need to. It's a good idea to pull over if you are feeling symptoms of road rage. Find a safe place to pull over and park, then get out and walk around for a few minutes until you feel more calm.[8]
    • Never try to pull over on the side of a busy street or highway – continue to the next exit, then find a safe place to stop the car.
    • Try not to drive more than 3 hours at a time. If you are on a long road trip, take a break at least every 3 hours and pull over to stretch your legs.
  • 8

    Find alternate routes if necessary. If construction zones or rush hour highway traffic tend to make you edgy and more likely to express your road rage, find another way to get where you need to go. Use an online mapping system to look at alternate routes using calmer back roads that will make you less likely to get angry while driving.[9]

  • 9

    Get plenty of sleep. Doctors generally recommend that adults get about 8 hours of sleep per night. If you are sleeping less than this, the accumulated sleep loss will seriously affect your mood. Being tired can lead to anger, resentment, and annoyance, all of which contribute to road rage.[10]

  • 10

    Avoid making driving a race or a contest. You're not trying to “win” anything when you are behind the wheel – you're trying to get where you're going, safely. Don't allow yourself to get drawn into contests with other drivers who want to race, or who dodge in and out of lanes trying to pass you.[11]
    • Some people enjoy passing you and then slowing down, for mysterious passive-aggressive reasons of their own. If possible, slow down enough to get behind a different car. Keep your distance from any driver who seems to be "playing games” with you.
  • 11

    Avoid distractions. Don't talk on the phone, text message, eat, or apply lipstick while driving. This could cause you to be caught off guard by other drivers' actions, fueling your road rage and causing a dangerous incident.[12]

  • 12

    Shorten your commute. If you find yourself continually battling feelings of road rage, you may need to consider taking a different job or moving closer to your job, to shorten your commute. A high salary will not offset the unhappiness caused by spending too much time on the road, when you could be spending with family and friends, or engaging in activities you enjoy.[13]

  • 13

    Take a road rage self-test. To find out whether your driving style is considered aggressive, take an online self-test. Being aware of your own tendencies toward road rage may make you more aware of the need to control it.[14]

  • 14

    Talk to your doctor. Some doctors believe that a condition known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) is responsible for road rage in certain people. Speak to your doctor if you continually experience feelings of anger or aggression, or have difficulty controlling your temper or your behavior.[15]
    • IED may contribute to other factors such as depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and a difficulty maintaining healthy relationships.
    • Your doctor may suggest therapy or medication to help control IED symptoms.
  • BGCMC middle school members submitted 21 essays for this year’s Ford Driving Dreams Essay contest. Participating members were asked to write a 500-word essay based on the following criteria; tell readers about their dream, how their dream will positively impact others, what inspires their dream, and is there something they hope to achieve this school year to get closer to their dream?

    Contest winners for 2018 are Angel D. (who won a $450 Visa gift card and a Macbook Air), Donovan G. (who won a $350 Visa gift card and a Macbook Air), and Melina M. (who won a $200 Visa gift card and a Macbook Air). Thank you to our wonderful judges Peter Nielsen, Paula Robichaud, and Susan Meister!

    The Ford Driving Dreams Essay contest was made possible by our partnership with the Ford Motor Company. Thank you to Rocio Navarro, Finance Manager at Cypress Coast Ford’s, for presenting the awards to our winners!

    My Dream

    By Donovan G.

    Ever since I was a young boy, I have dreamed of becoming an automotive designer. The reason why I have chosen this as my career path is because I have always been interested in motor vehicles and the making of them. I also hope to attend Art Design school in Pasadena, California because they offer a degree in industrial design with a specialty in auto design. I think that because of my imagination, I would be able to create very impressive car designs. By attending Art Design school, I would have the opportunity to learn even more about auto design and become a very valuable employee to a great car design company someday.

    I believe that my dream will positively impact others in many ways. One way that becoming an auto designer will positively impact others is by taking into consideration the opinions of others when I am sketching designs for the visual appearances of cars. Another way that my dream will positively impact others is by bringing the image of their dream cars to life. There are many things that inspire my dream. My dad and my uncle have both inspired my dream of becoming an auto designer because they both work at a car dealership. As a result of their work with the dealership, I have gotten the opportunity to see many interesting different cars and see how excited people get when they are able to purchase the car of their dreams. In order to get closer to my dream, there are a few things that I hope to accomplish this school year. I need to continue to get good grades so that I can be accepted into Art Design school. In addition, I need to educate myself on the logistics regarding automotive design. One way that I can do this is by spending more time at the dealership where my family members work and doing additional research on the topic. With the continued support from my family and my dedication to achieving this dream, I know that I will be able to accomplish becoming a very successful automotive designer.


    My Dream

    By Angel D.

    My dream is to become an archaeologist. Since I was a little kid, I have been fascinated by historical artifacts. I realize it will take a long time but I am a hard worker and I will try my best in school to reach my dream. I will also need to earn a master’s degree, which will take 6-8 years after I graduate high school. My wish is to attend Stanford University so I can accomplish my dreams.

    When I achieve my dream I will become a positive role model for my younger siblings. This will inspire my family and friends to aim high with their own education. Along with encouraging my younger siblings, I will also try my best to be a good role model to my friends. By doing this I would feel accomplished as an older sibling and friend. One thing that first interested me in this dream was watching the history channel. Every day when I was a kid I was fascinated with all the shows they aired. The show I usually watched the most was The Naked Archaeologist. He is a man who goes around the world and finds ancient artifacts and tries to find what it was made out of and what it was used for. I believe doing good in school will help me achieve my dream of becoming an archaeologist, and this mainly includes getting good grades. I would need to focus in school, listen in class, and study hard. Finally, I will try to expand my experience by volunteering my time at places that offer opportunities to study human history through analyzing artifacts. I believe doing all of the above will help me achieve my dream. Becoming an archaeologist is my main priority for determining my future. Doing this will help me become a positive role model. My passion to become an archaeologist started when I was a little kid has impacted me over the past couple of years. By being a good student, my path towards my dream will be easy to accomplish.


    What drives your dream?

    By Melina M.

    Hello, my name is Melina I am 12 years old. I live with my mom, brother, and sisters. I am the oldest out of 4 kids, so I have to leave a good example. I am visually impaired, my impairment is called Octave Nerve Hypoplasia. My impairment is one of the strongest things that take part in my dreams for the future. I do not let my visual impairment stop me from having fun and making new friends!

    My dream is lots of thing. First I want to graduate from the International School of Monterey. Which is the school I am going to at the moment. After that I will start high school and then graduate, along with meeting new people and having a couple sleepovers. Then after high school I will go to college. I am not sure what college I want to go to but one day I will know. In the middle of college I want to get a part time job so when I graduate college I will not be so lost in what to do. Right after college I am going to move to LA with 1 or 2 of my friends and we are going to share an apartment. That way we won’t lose as much money if we lived alone. Also because then I will always see my friends. My dream job is to work with animals in any way I can. I love animals and being around them make me so happy.

    My dream would help the owners of the pets. Also would help the animals. I am not sure how I am going to help the animals. But I am going to try my best to be as helpful as I can.

    What mainly inspires my dreams is my grandma and youtube. It all started a long time ago. When I was about 5 years old and every morning I would watch TV shows on how to take care of all sorts of animals. I have always loved animals and I will never stop loving them. They are such a huge part of my dream. My grandma volunteers at an SPCA so I get to have a little more experience there. She told me that to volunteer you have to be 16. So my goal is to start at that age. If somehow I can’t work with animals I have a backup plan. I am not sure if it is the best plan. I am going to start a youtube channel and if I get 1 million subscribers that means that youtube can pay me and that could also be a job.

    This school year I am going to try my very best to get lots of good grades and turn in all of my  assignments. This school year I am participating in science fair so I am going to work my hardest.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate it. Once again thank you and have an amazing day!