In those days where the heat wave is melting roads in North America – some Canadian roads have started to melt in the heat – and putting drivers at risk, it’s essential to talk about keeping cool. Keeping your car cool, admittedly, is a matter of ventilation, air con and also remembering to pack in the shades as much as possible when you’re traveling. Similarly, you probably know that summer is not the best season to leave the car parked with a pet or a child inside while you’re popping to the shops.
But there’s a different kind of cool you need to think about behind the wheel, and it’s your nerves. Losing your temper while driving can be devastating. There are, however, more than one way in which you could lose your temper. Getting angry at other drivers or passengers in your vehicle might be the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s not the only situation. You could also get worried or nervous in the car, which can happen if your vehicle started to make a strange noise, for example. And finally, you can also panic when you’re faced with unexpected situations on the road, such as a driver suddenly hitting the brakes in front of you. In short, how do you keep a cool head in the car?
Road rage makes you dangerous
The most commonly evoked case of loss of temper in a car is road rage. As surprising as it might sound, road rage is also a lot more common than you might think, even if you don’t see people fighting on the road very often. Angry drivers can show different levels of anger, and therefore you can be experiencing some elements of road rage behind the wheel. According to a report from China, anger can make drivers more aggressive and more likely to take risks and make costly mistakes. The reason for this burst of aggressivity is often the fact that most people feel anonymous and protected once they’re in their vehicles. As a result, they might be three times more likely to yell out of the window when they get irritated on the road. Additionally, you also become more likely to take reckless decisions, such as running red lights or tailgating, which can put other drivers at risk. Unfortunately, road rage can cause accidents and kill. Think of the potential consequences of not paying enough attention to the road next time you get angry.
Start with a vehicle you can trust
Many accidents, however, are the consequence of an angry driver. Indeed, many crashes are the result of a driver getting distracted by the vehicle. Imagine, you’re driving in town when suddenly your dashboard flashes icons you’ve never seen before and the car starts beeping. You panic. You glance at the dashboard, and as you take your eyes off the road, you plow into the car in front of you. You won’t be able to argue your case and explain that the car distracted you, even though it is correct. So, if you want to avoid such a situation, you need to start with a car you can trust. If you’re in the process of buying a vehicle, make sure to ask your local car dealership for the complete history of the car as well as a test drive. Be attentive to the details of the engine, the brake pads and the tires as you check the vehicle. Any sign of rust or oil under the car is an indication of troubles!
Be proactive not reactive
You can’t be a reactive driver. You need to be a driver who has a proactive behavior on the road so that you can avoid getting surprised by other vehicles’ behavior. As dull as it might sound, maintaining proper distance can genuinely save your life in the road. Other drivers might try to merge or get distracted, and you can see them coming in time. Ultimately, you need to be attentive to the way the cars around you behave. For instance, if you notice a driver is slowing down for no reason, he might be waiting for his exit; leave some distance between your cars. If someone is tailgating you, let them overtake instead of speeding. Thinking ahead avoids any bad surprise.
Get the setting right
It’s also a good idea to create a cozy and peaceful interior in your car. If you’re planning for a long journey, make sure to look for comfortable and breathable seat covers, so that you don’t get too hot as you drive. Additionally, you should pack some CDs or prepare a driving list on Spotify to keep your mind at peace. Indeed, according to a British survey, music can help to address pain and stress-related complaints. Listening to your favorite ballade can help you to find your zen again.
Always know what’s going on
If you’re traveling to a new destination, most experts recommend taking a GPS unit with you. The GPS can guide you into an unknown area, meaning that you don’t need to try to read a map as you drive. But you also need a navigation tool that checks the traffic condition in real time. Too many units don’t update their maps and can provide outdated itineraries in growing areas. Additionally, you need to know where there is a traffic jam so that you can take an alternative route to reach your destination.
Don’t let traffic get the best of you
But even with a modern GPS unit, you can get stuck in traffic. And traffic jams are the last thing motorists want on the road. They are genuinely harmful to your mental health, as they can lead to traffic stress syndrome. Indeed, as modern life is going at high speed and requires employees to achieve significant levels of productivity all day, getting stuck on a congested road goes against your work/life balance. It’s not only a waste of time; it’s a waste of your productivity. And consequently, many professionals suffer from lasting stressful damages on a daily basis. In fact, a traffic jam can lead to worries about arriving late, which results in anxiety about managing all tasks in a reduced time.
In conclusion, driving can be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s your role as a conscientious driver to keep your cool, in stressful, irritated and worrying situations. Stay calm, and keep the roads safe.