Mitigating the Stress of Driving
Driving isn’t a completely peaceful activity. While you can find something of a zen focus on the road, particularly if you’re headed down wide and quiet roads in the midst of a beautiful landscape. But unfortunately, not all driving experiences we have are as picturesque as this. Most people would agree that plenty is happening around you when you’re on the pavement, and surrendering how alert you are to the stress of driving for even a few moments can cause the reckless handling of your vehicle.
But when stress piles up from all angles, it can be hard to know how to help oneself. We might find ourselves feeling angry, inhibited, or perhaps just more frayed at the edges than we might prefer to be while driving. It’s these potential moods that can often be the most deadly, and cause us to feel less than we are. This is why it’s imperative to mitigate the stress of driving, because not only are you responsible for yourself, but also for the passengers and to care for the road safety of others sharing the road.
Let us suggest some useful techniques you may wish to adopt:
Driving drunk is an issue you hear plenty about. There are road signs, television advertisements, and a generally understood social norm that driving drunk is one of the most disgusting things you could do. Not only does it show a high level of selfishness, but also a disregard for other’s safety. This is why the courts are often quite harsh in their terms when it comes to punishing people who are caught with this. But one thing that’s not talked about as much?
Tired driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Studies show that a brain undergoing relatively prolonged sleep deprivation is similar in functionality to how the brain operates when it’s drunk. However, if pulled over, an officer of the law will have a hard time proving you are tired, because they haven’t measurement tests for it. Unless you’re yawning comically and falling asleep at the wheel, it’s not exactly difficult for you to hide that you’re tired with enough effort. And not only that but if on a long journey, you can purchase endless amounts of coffee legally to keep yourself slightly awake. But that doesn’t mean drowsy driving isn’t a contributor or cause to road accidents, and drowsy driving is not unfamiliar in the experience of even the best car accident attorney.
Of course, lacking in rest will lead to your cortisol levels to rise. So on a busy road, the threat of driving difficulty is doubled. Do not allow this to happen. Care for your safety, stress and mental health, and be sure you are rested before any drive. It can make all the difference.
Plan Your Journeys
How often do we plan our journeys? We might have a simple understanding of the route we’re going to take because we know our environment and how the traffic swells and decreases over the hours of the day. But what if you’re traveling further afield? What if you’re taking a new route? Sometimes taking fifteen minutes to merely check ahead, read weather and traffic reports and ensuring you know the way can not only help with your stress levels as you branch out somewhere new, but it also helps you start to cement this route more effectively in your mind. This could potentially help you enjoy the process of driving more when you’re not worried about where to go or how to get there.
Give Yourself Time
There’s nothing more stressful than knowing you are late somewhere. You might even find it tempting to speed a little. Don’t do this, unless of course it’s safe and you’re under the speed limit. Frantic driving can lead you to take unnecessary risks. A second of pulling out into a road can be all it takes to get into an accident. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always have confidence on the road, but you also shouldn’t think you are invincible just because you’re late for work?
Which is more appropriate and preferable? Is it increasing your chances of getting into a road accident by 5% due to hurried driving? Or are you taking a morning lambasting from your boss at work? We would suggest the second. Sometimes, the best method of stress reduction is to defer it for when you’re outside of the vehicle and parked safely.
With these tips, mitigating the stress of driving should be worthwhile.