10 Etiquette Rules That Are Good for Your Health

Dial Down the Road Rage
Lay off the horn, lady. That unnecessary road rage could kill you. RossHelen/iStock/Thinkstock

It's a fact of modern life: There are bad drivers on the road. Some treat every trip like a Sunday drive, while others seem to think they're in the Indy 500. In response, slighted drivers will sometimes honk, yell and flash gestures that would make their grandmothers blush. But according to health experts, our bodies would thank us if we all just took a deep breath and let it go.

When we get angry, stress hormones cause our heart rate and blood pressure to increase. According to one study, this response can raise the risk of heart attack five times and stroke three times during the two hours after the outburst [source: Hammond]. If this stress continues day after day, you may experience additional problems including a weakened immune system, back pain, headaches, menstrual issues and infertility [source: Haupt].

So what can you do to reach driving Zen? For starters, give yourself a little extra time to reach your destination. That way you won't feel rushed and will be less likely to lash out at the slow driver in the fast lane. If you still find yourself getting annoyed, try singing songs or thinking positive thoughts to direct your mind elsewhere. Some drivers find it useful to think of driving as a team sport where everyone's trying to help each other get to their destination. If all else fails and you do find yourself in a confrontation, pull over and take a moment to calm down.