Although many people have the luxury of working from home these days there are many people who still have to deal with the dreadful commuter traffic.
While most drivers are experienced and have learned different strategies to avoid heavy traffic areas or leave at a time when the traffic is at a minimum others experience severe stress at the very thought of making that morning or evening commute. The stress can lead to road rage and/or reckless driving which could eventually lead to a car accident and more stress.
Careless drivers, congested traffic and accidents are what you face in the morning and evening commutes; day after day. It’s no wonder you feel stressed out and frustrated. By the time you get to work, you have to first collect your nerves before you can actually do your job. When you go home, you get out of your car feeling like a limp dishtowel that’s been used, wrung out and thrown on the dish rack.
By doing a simple online search like New York car accidents, Dallas car accident lawyer or Los Angeles commuter traffic you can find a long list of articles about distracted driving, road rage incidents and fatal car accidents. If these are the perils that you must face during your daily driving experience, then take heart, all is not lost. These 5 strategies will help you to cope with your morning and evening commutes:
1. Traffic patterns are unpredictable. One minute traffic is flowing the next minute you may have to stop unexpectedly. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. In this way, if the vehicle in front of you comes to a sudden stop, you will not hit it.
2. Use the “careful and quick” method when merging onto a highway. Check carefully your rear view mirror and your driver’s side mirror to make sure there is no vehicle in your blind spot, all the while quickly checking the car in front of you to make sure it has not stopped or slowed down. Depending on the traffic flow, you may have to either slow up or slow down before merging safely onto the highway.
3. Listen to soothing music. Playing meditative or classical music helps to calm your nerves and become more focused. As your mind relaxes, you can handle the traffic better.
4. Engage in some sort of exercise or meditation before you leave your home in the morning. This will get your adrenaline flowing and put you in a good mood to deal with your morning commute. If there’s one thing that will get you out of a relaxing mood, it’s a driver who cuts you off or one who reacts in a crass manner to a move that you made. Rather than ramming your car into his, realize that anger won’t solve anything. So, take the “high road” by taking deep breaths to calm yourself down and chalk it up to the other driver’s ignorance.
5. Find another route to take. If there is another way that’s less congested to get to where you need to go, take it. Also, experiment with the time that you begin your commute. You may find that if you leave 15 minutes earlier or later that the traffic is not as bad.
Whatever you do, do not send text messages, check email or use one hand to talk on your mobile phone in congested traffic. You are placing yourself and other drivers at risk. Rather than use technology, use your time to think positive thoughts, be creative and take in the scenery.
Try enjoying your drive on purpose. If you can do this, you can face – and overcome – any challenge on the highway.
Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who researches motor vehicle accidents. Although her focus is primarily on how to avoid car accidents Valerie also believes it is a good practice to know the steps to take if you are involved in an accident. She came up with the idea for this article by reviewing the website of a Dallas car accident lawyer. She found that most accidents occur within a 10 mile radius from the driver’s home and during rush hour traffic.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenharris/3360753122/