3 Tips for Reducing Your Driving-Related Stress

Posted by Ben Davidson about 17 days ago
Driving can be a great thing in all sorts of different ways, and for all sorts of different reasons.

For one thing, there’s no feeling quite like hitting the open road for an exciting road trip or weekend getaway, and feeling the thrill of taking yourself wherever you want, whenever you want.

For another thing, driving also makes life a lot more straightforward in all sorts of different ways – for example, by allowing you to commute much more effectively to your place of work.

At the same time, though, driving can certainly be a stressful experience as well – particularly if you are constantly worried about being caught by overzealous speed cameras, or of having your dream car scratched or dented.

Here are just a few tips for reducing your driving-related stress.


Familiarize yourself with the available options if you have an issue or get ticketed on the road


A lot of the stress that people feel about things like getting ticketed, has to do with the fact that it’s not always clear when you might fall foul of a particular traffic regulation, or find yourself being a bit too late when transitioning from one speed zone to another, and getting caught out by a carefully placed camera as a result.

Then, there may be issues surrounding not only the amount of the fine itself, but things such as court appearances.

A lot of this stress can be alleviated by familiarizing yourself with the available options if you do have such an issue. For example, knowing how to get a California traffic ticket dismissed without requiring a court appearance can be a very useful thing.


Try not to drive tired, or in an abnormally wired state


Driving tired is extremely dangerous. As sleep scientist Matthew Walker points out, it can be even more dangerous than driving drunk – because when you’re drunk, your judgement and reaction times are impaired, but when you fall asleep at the wheel, you have no judgement or reaction times at all.

A lot of driving-related stress can occur when you know you are struggling to keep your eyes open behind the wheel. And what’s more, sleep deprivation also makes emotional regulation more difficult.

On the other side of the coin, driving right after downing four cups of coffee on an empty stomach will spike the level of stress hormones in your body, and make everything more agitating as a result.

Try not to drive tired, or in an abnormally wired state.

Consider a second car for your daily commuting and chores


This point certainly won’t apply to everyone, but if you find yourself in the lucky position of owning the “car of your dreams,” it’s likely that a lot of driving-related stress for you surrounds the fear that something will happen to your car.

If you have to do a lot of driving on a regular basis just in order to commute, deal with everyday chores, and so on, it might be a good idea to consider investing in a second, cheaper, and more “utilitarian” car, that you aren’t so nervous about potentially scratching.

You could then save your dream car for weekend getaways and the like. 
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