Avoiding Common Sources of Stress As a Driver

Posted by Admin at 24 March 2021, at 20 : 04 PM

Avoiding Common Sources of Stress As a Driver

Having a car and being able to drive from place to place can be remarkably positive and uplifting.

Not only can the ability to drive massively increase your professional possibilities by enabling you to commute across greater distances, and to work in roles that require a vehicle, but driving simply increases autonomy across the various different domains of life as a whole.

Of course, driving can also be a really uplifting and positive experience in and of itself, and many people fall in love with car culture and the joy of hitting the open road, exploring new locales on weekends and vacation days, and even exploring related hobbies like restoring vintage cars.

At the same time, though, driving is unfortunately a significant source of stress for many, and can become something that is associated with exhausted mornings trying to navigate rush-hour traffic on the way to work, and the frustrations that come with breakdowns and negative interactions with other motorists.

Although the specific things that make driving stressful may differ from one individual to the next, there are certain things that are likely to be useful for a large number of agitated motorists.

Here are a few suggestions on avoiding common sources of stress as a driver.

Get your car regularly seen to and maintained by a reliable garage

One of the common sources of the driving-related stress that can really have an ongoing detrimental impact on your sense of well-being, is having a vehicle that regularly breaks down, or that has an array of minor faults and issues that make the driving experience unpleasant – and that consistently make you paranoid that you are going to experience a breakdown at an extremely bad time.

For some people, this occurs simply due to not getting their cars properly or regularly serviced. For others, however, it’s a result of taking their cars to garages that do shoddy work, therefore resulting in the issues never being properly and fully resolved.

Having your car regularly seen to and maintained by a reliable garage – and developing a good relationship with a reliable garage – can save you a huge amount of stress, while also making you significantly safer on the road, and less likely to end up in a dangerous or deeply inconvenient situation.

Click here for an example of a good auto servicing package that could help to significantly alleviate stress.

Stop driving tired, and restructure your lifestyle habits if necessary

Almost everyone drives tired, at least some of the time – and you could make the argument that there is no way of perfectly avoiding situations where you need to commute to work in the morning but have had a restless night, for one reason or another.

For many people, however, it’s not a matter of an occasional night of unrefreshing sleep – but rather of chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue, resulting in driving tired on a regular basis.

The sleep scientist and author Matthew Walker, however, highlights just how devastating driving while sleep deprived can actually be. In his highly acclaimed book, “Why We Sleep,” he argues that driving when tired is actually, in many cases, more deadly even than driving when intoxicated.

The reason? When people drive under the influence, their judgement and reaction time are severely impaired. When people drive when very tired, on the other hand, and fall asleep, they will have no reaction at all when getting involved in a devastating accident.

Not only is falling asleep at the wheel often fatal, but driving when tired, and fearing falling asleep, can be a major source of stress that can make driving an unpleasant activity that you actually end up dreading rather than enjoying.

Even if you don’t feel as if you are at risk of actually falling asleep at the wheel, being sleep deprived has been found to cause people to be more emotionally reactive, less capable of properly assessing their surroundings, and more likely to regard other people and their intentions as hostile. Clearly, all of these things will make you a much more stressed out and dangerous driver as well.

Taking steps to stop driving tired can be a remarkably powerful way of reducing your road-related stress. Of course, this may mean making significant lifestyle changes that could involve things ranging from getting tested for a condition such as sleep apnoea that may be keeping you tossing and turning at night, to simply limiting your exposure to bright light and digital devices in the evening hours.

Leave more time for travel to and from appointments

When you aren’t in a rush, driving can be a positive and mindful experience that you enjoy for its own sake.

If you are constantly rushing to and from different appointments and are worrying whether you’re going to make it or not, however, it simply goes without saying that you are going to be stressed, and won’t be in any position to appreciate the experience of being on the road.

Getting in the habit of leaving more time for travel to and from different appointments – and intentionally booking appointments with more time to spare wherever possible – can reduce a lot of road-related stress.

Research and plan parking in advance, to avoid putting your car in a dangerous situation

Whenever you are driving to a new area – and especially one that is very busy – do you spend a while actively researching and planning your parking in advance, or do you just turn up and hope for the best?

A lot of the stress that people experience around driving actually has to do with parking, rather than being on the road in and of itself.

Having to drive through a busy urban area while traffic is coming at you from all sides and drivers are hooting at you, and while you’re trying to figure out where to park, is certainly stressful. And it’s also stressful to leave your car parked on a street corner whether it might be vulnerable to theft or vandalism.

If you actually have a plan for getting your car to a reliable car park, however, you can free yourself from a lot of this stress.

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