Strong emotions have the same effects on driving as using mobile devices—they are distracting and may lead us to make less-than-stellar decisions. Road rage is one extreme example of when we let our emotions get the best of us, but excitement can also lead to speeding and running lights. This can cause death and injury, so it is best to keep feelings in check while behind the wheel. Here are five tips to move from emotional driving to controlled driving in Tampa, FL:
- Create a calming atmosphere: Good music or your favorite podcast can divert your attention away from stressful emotions or circumstances without distracting you from the road. This way, you do not let overwhelming elements get to you, and you listen to something enjoyable as you traverse between points A and B. Try to support your physical comfort better as well, whether that means adding massage beads to your driver’s seat or a pad to your seatbelt right where it makes your skin itch.
- Wait it out: If you just received news of the death of a relative or are leaving your job right after being laid off, take a break before you drive. Cry it out. Call a friend or turn to social media. If you drive while the emotion is still strong and taking hold, you may take out your sadness or frustration on others. So, wait out the gut impulses first before you drive.
- Plan ahead: Bad traffic and road construction slow down traveling and often lead to frustration. That in turn causes road rage. If you know of these conditions, plan ahead and leave earlier so your slower commute is not a source of rage later. Also, use Google Maps or other apps to find ways around the construction or traffic so you have an easier time driving.
- Sleep: If you are not sleeping well, you are more likely to overreact. Things that are minimally frustrating on a normal day become disasters when you are sleep deprived. Stop and rest on road trips if the need for a nap is overwhelming. Get enough sleep at night, and if that is impossible, consider taking public transportation or catching a ride with someone else if you can. Besides slowing down your reaction time, sleep deprivation while driving also makes you vulnerable to all emotions, and not just strong ones. It may not be worth the risk.
- Practice deep breathing: When road conditions or another driver become frustrating, focus on your breath. Deep breaths lower your respiration and heart rate, and that leaves you less vulnerable to lash out in stress. As you do this, focus on the technical aspects of driving, as that will distract you from the frustration without diverting your attention from the road. You will get where you are going in a much calmer state of mind.
Affordable Car Insurance Tampa would like to remind you to replace emotional driving in Tampa, FL with controlled driving and avoid claims against your insurance. For the best insurance rates in the area, contact us today to receive a quote.