Like it or not, driving is a cause of stress among many Canadians. From new drivers who get anxious on the road, to drivers who get stressed when they’re late or driving in heavy city traffic. Whatever the reason behind your driving stress, it’s important that you stay as calm as possible while driving. Drivers who are stressed are more likely to get into accidents.
Follow these 5 strategies for keeping yourself calm on the road and arriving at your destination relaxed.
- Relax your posture
Tensing up your shoulders will make your drive less comfortable and more stressful. There’s no need to sit extremely close to the wheel; leave your posture relaxed but attentive, and roll your shoulders a few times to stretch them out. Keep your hands in the proper driving position and relax your wrists to make your drive even more enjoyable.
- Leave more space between you and other vehicles
Stopping and starting, especially when driving through city streets or through heavy traffic, is a surefire way to stress yourself out while driving. Not only is it dangerous, it increases your likelihood of getting into a collision, which will definitely make your drive much more stressful.
- Listen to music or audiobooks you like
Driving is a great time to listen to music you love or an audiobook that you’ve been meaning to start. Having something to occupy you while you drive is a great way to reduce stress, especially when traffic is really bad. Make sure that you stay focused on the road though, and choose your in-car entertainment before you leave.
- Breathe mindfully while you drive
Most of us take more shallow, superficial breaths, which can increase stress. Driving is the perfect time to practice mindful deep breathing. Inhale through your nose slowly and count to five, hold it for three seconds and exhale to the count of five. This kind of breathing can take you from feeling agitated and stressed to feeling relaxed while you drive, and it’s easy to do at anytime.
- Leave a little bit earlier than you need to
One of the most stressful things while driving is being late, so if you’re not sure exactly where you’re going, or you need to factor in time for things like finding parking, leave a little earlier than you think you should. It’s easier said than done, but having even 10 extra minutes just in case will reduce your stress levels significantly and positively impact your driving.
Driving relaxed will keep you safer on the road, which has many benefits outside of keeping you safe. Drivers with great track records pay lower premiums on their car insurance. If you’ve had a stellar driving record, contact your insurance provider to see what they can do for you. If you’re not satisfied with your current insurance policy, compare it to other policies on the market to get the best price possible for your vehicle.