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How to Handle Stress While Driving

How to Handle Stress While Driving - An image of a woman in a car holding her hands to her head, indicating she is stressed out.

Whether you are a new or experienced driver, being behind the wheel can be stressful. Stress levels can instantly rise if you are in a rush, run into bad traffic or get lost. Knowing how to handle stress while driving is important to ensure safety for yourself and others.

The next time you are feeling stress or anxiety behind the wheel, consider the following tips:

Allow for Extra Time

It doesn’t matter if you’re driving to a destination just a few minutes away or hours away– always give yourself extra time to travel. You can get a good idea of how long it will take you to drive by checking your estimated arrival time on a GPS. Consider giving yourself an additional 15-20 minutes just in case you run into unexpected traffic, road closures or bad weather. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with alternative routes to avoid these conflicts. Additional time will allow stress levels to remain low no matter what unfortunate situations you encounter.

Eliminate Distractions

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents. It’s also one of the biggest stress triggers while driving. There are already enough distractions on the road that you cannot control, so take control of what you can.

It’s a no-brainer that cell phones are one of the biggest distractions while driving. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb or turn it completely off. Even if you aren’t actively on your phone, the sounds from incoming notifications can be a distraction when your only focus should be on driving. It only takes a few seconds to look down at your phone, but the consequences can be life-altering.

Multiple passengers in the car are another distraction that can create a stressful environment. However, you may not always be able to avoid passengers. To reduce stress while driving, be sure to vocalize your need for little to no noise, or consider not allowing your friends to tag along in the car. If you are traveling with children, consider giving them snacks or toys to hold their attention throughout the ride.

Listen to the Right Music

Studies have shown that listening to music while driving can reduce stress. It’s all about listening to the correct music genres that are perfect for you. Fast, upbeat music can help you be more alert and focused, while slower music can help you feel at peace and more at ease. It’s important to be as comfortable as possible when driving, so turn on your favorite playlist or radio station to create a relaxed environment.

Take a Break

One of the best forms of stress management while driving is simply taking a break. Don’t think you have to finish the drive in one stretch when traveling long distances. According to the Highway Code, taking a break every two hours for at least 15 minutes is recommended. A rest area is perfect for stretching your legs, using the restroom or enjoying snacks. If a rest area isn’t available nearby, you can pull over on the side of the road if it is safe or take a break at a gas station or public parking lot.

Be Protected with GoAuto Insurance

If you find yourself in an unfortunate automobile situation, let us take the stress off your hands. At GoAuto Insurance, we make protecting your car easy by offering one of the most affordable options for car insurance, and we don’t try to convince you to buy expensive add-ons or policy features you don’t need. Get a quote today by calling 833-700-0000 or visiting our website.

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