posted 3 years ago

How To Reduce Stress While Driving

How to avoid stress while driving. Tips relate to patience, self control, manners and how to cope if threatened by another driver.

Driving stressed compromises road safety but its impact can be reduced by following a few simple steps, GEM Motoring Assist claims. Stress – the road safety and breakdown specialist says – makes you more likely to take unnecessary risks. Even assuming there is no collision, such actions could encourage a hostile reaction from other road users. The situation could escalate significantly with a wide range of safety, legal and moral implications. GEM stress-busting tips relate to patience, self control, manners and how to cope if threatened by another motorist.

Tips are:

  • “Keep calm and show restraint. Every journey brings the risk of frustration and conflict. Make a pledge to be patient. Avoid using your horn or making gestures in anger.
  • Avoid competition and resist the desire to get even. If the standard of someone else’s driving disappoints you, don’t attempt to educate or rebuke them.
  • Don’t push into traffic queues. If you wait and clearly signal, you won’t wait long before another driver lets you in. But they don’t like being forced into giving way.
  • Say thank you, say sorry. Courtesy encourages co-operation on the road. If you make a mistake (and we all do) or perhaps cut things a bit fine, then a gesture of apology avoids confrontation and helps defuse anger.
  • Move away from trouble. If you feel seriously threatened by another driver, then ensure your car doors are locked and drive (at legal speed) to the nearest police station or busy area (petrol station forecourts are ideal). Use your mobile phone to alert the police. Pressing the horn repeatedly or continuously is likely to deter a potential attacker.”

GEM Motoring Assist Chief Executive, David Williams MBE, said: “We encourage drivers to leave plenty of time for their journeys which means they can feel calm and in control at the wheel.” After all, he added: “stress can lead to risk taking and this, in turn, increases the likelihood of aggressive incidents. We also urge drivers to avoid becoming involved in situations they recognise as dangerous or risky”.

Tips To Avoid Stress

There are further steps that minimise stress which can be taken prior to a journey. Highlights include breathing slowly and deeply which lowers the heart rate. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Exercise such as walking, swimming and cycling is effective too. Living an organised life, taking time to relax, eating well and keeping issues in perspective also minimise stress. 

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