Imagine the following scenario: you have just finished washing your car, and before you go for your big trip, you take one last glance at everything from the inside to the outside. We have snacks here. Check the gas. Check out the suitcase. Every single thing is perfect. As you head out, you are 3 miles into your trip, and someone flips you off! We have all been there.

ConsumerAffairs ranked the 50 states in the nation for road rage. As the travel season gears up and more of us hit the roads for summer adventures, it's a good time to reflect on how we can keep our cool behind the wheel. After all, nobody wants their perfect road trip to be marred by road rage. Just how bad is our region when it comes to road rage?
South Dakota
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South Dakota: A Chill Ride

South Dakota, kudos to you for ranking 47th! It seems like the folks here have figured out the secret to stress-free driving. Let’s all take a page from their book. When you’re cruising past Mount Rushmore or through the Black Hills, remember that life’s too short to sweat the small stuff. Smile, wave, and keep the good vibes rolling.

Minnesota: The Land of 10,000 Lakes and Few Road Rages

Minnesota finds itself in the 33rd spot. While not the worst, there's always room to channel more of that famous "Minnesota Nice." If someone’s driving slower than you'd like, take a moment to appreciate the lakeside view and the lush green surroundings. It's all about perspective – maybe they’re just soaking in the scenery too!
North Dakota

North Dakota: The Middle of the Pack

North Dakota comes in at 20th, which means there's room for improvement. In the Peace Garden State, try to channel that peaceful vibe into your driving. If you feel your anger rising, think about how you'd react if you were dealing with a stubborn tractor instead of another driver. Would you honk and yell, or just patiently wait for a chance to pass? Keep that same calm demeanor with fellow drivers.

Montana: The Wild West of Road Rage

Montana, the Treasure State, ranks a surprising third in the nation for road rage incidents. Maybe it’s the wide-open spaces that make drivers feel a bit too free-spirited? Whatever the reason, remember that patience is a virtue. If someone cuts you off, take a deep breath, admire the stunning Big Sky Country scenery, and let it go. Embrace the spirit of the West by showing some neighborly kindness.

If you're a little hot under the collar with these findings, let’s explore some tips to stay calm and collected while driving, even when traffic or other drivers test your patience.

Tips for Staying Calm on the Road

  1. Play Some Tunes: Music can be a great mood enhancer. Create a playlist of your favorite songs to keep you happy and relaxed.
  2. Practice Deep Breathing: If you start to feel tense, try some deep breathing exercises. Inhale slowly, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale. Repeat until you feel calmer.
  3. Keep Snacks Handy: Hunger can make you cranky. Keep some healthy snacks in the car to maintain your blood sugar levels and your patience.
  4. Plan Ahead: Give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Rushing only adds to stress, and a relaxed schedule means a relaxed mind.
  5. Use Technology: Apps that provide real-time traffic updates can help you avoid stressful situations. If you know there’s a jam ahead, you can reroute and keep calm.
  6. Take Breaks: On long drives, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and refresh your mind. A few minutes out of the car can make a big difference.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can affect your mood and concentration. Keep a bottle of water handy and take sips regularly.

As you embark on your travel season adventures, remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure a smooth, enjoyable ride for yourself and your passengers. Happy driving, and let’s all aim to make our roads a little friendlier this summer!

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