Getting cut off by someone on the highway. A receiving clerk demanding the on-time policy doesn’t excuse lateness – even if only by five minutes. Another truck parking too close to your door. Hearing excessive noise in the middle of the night inside a truck stop.
It may take different forms, but drivers do experience rude or inconsiderate behavior from others on a daily basis. It can get ugly, too. For example, take a look at this video taken by a female driver.
How drivers react to and handle this behavior draws a definitive line between a “professional driver” and just a “driver.”
According to labor and employment attorney Aaron Holt in an article for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “It’s really a people problem. Humans are social beings, and we don’t always get along. Respect, post-Aretha Franklin, is the best way to have a healthy workplace. It really is about respect in how you deal with other people and how you expect to be dealt with.”
Stop the Spread of Rudeness
Rudeness is a condition that impairs productivity, motivation, cognitive ability and overall well-being. It’s nearly as impairing as the flu and almost more rampant. It’s spreading quickly among truck stops, workplaces and communities everywhere. You can pick it up pretty much anywhere, even online.
It’s true. Incivility is a bug, and it’s contagious. Simple rudeness and disrespect can pass from person to person like a virus. The human toll can be overwhelming.
Don’t Be a Victim of Road Rage
On the roadways, it even has its own name: “Road Rage.” A simple Google search shows what road rage looks like and how states are combating it. According to the Colorado Handbook, flipping the bird could result in aggressive driving charges against you.
A road rage incident often escalates simply because one driver chooses to respond in anger in a retaliatory manner. Our advice: don’t react! You’re the professional driver.
Remain Cool and Calm
If you feel your anger rising when another driver hits below the belt, take a few steps to avoid an escalation. Follow these tips:
Don’t engage with the other person.
Don’t attempt to match their act of rudeness, disrespect or discourteousness with revenge.
If you did something to make the other person mad, just back off. Don’t respond to their words or gestures.
If it helps, you can even turn up some Aretha tunes of some other music. Be the cool cucumber.
Manage Your Energy
The number one reason drivers act out rudely is because of something someone else did or due to stress. Stress can be caused by a lot of things: an appointment time looming, traffic or even bad weather.
Each rude behavior might have a reason behind it. Manage your actions by first taking care of yourself. That includes getting plenty of sleep, eating well and exercising. Try not to allow uncontrollable things to control your mood.
Know That Mean People Don’t Come In First
How many times has another driver cut you off to get ahead, only to be sitting in the same congested traffic 20 minutes later? Remember the fable about the tortoise and the hare? There’s some truth to that.
Lead by Example – You Catch More Bees With Honey
This cute phrase is one of the most cliché sayings. But, it’s true.
Did you know that the average person has about 400 opportunities to interact with others on a daily basis? There may be even more if you consider online presence. Use these instances to treat others nicely. Smile as you walk by. Say “please” and “thank you.” Hold a door open for someone. Do these things even if you’re not treated with the same respect you’re giving. The key is to be mindful of each opportunity throughout the day.