How to Manage Driving Stress Amidst COVID-19
Have you ever been in a hurry to get to work? How about to make a doctor’s appointment? Have you ever had to weather bad traffic after receiving some bad news? Do you have a terribly long commute? There are plenty of reasons people have driving stress. Driving while stressed can increase your chances of getting into an accident. And then there are also negative health effects from driving itself.
But now with the current coronavirus outbreak, our stress levels may be up even higher. Although many businesses are shut down and employees are asked to stay at home, some people still need to drive. Maybe they have to go to their jobs, or they need to stock up on essential items. The anxiety around an uncertain future and the overall disruption of our day to day lives can lead to some people driving stressed.
What is the Coronavirus?
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a respiratory disease that can have little to no symptoms. However, COVID-19 can also have severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing. More common symptoms are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. According to WHO, COVID-19 spreads a few ways:
- Person to person through small droplets from the mouth or nose, which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales.
- Touching an object or surface where these droplets have landed and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- From breathing in these droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs or exhales droplets.
How is Coronavirus Affecting Roads?
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and the U.S. government have been updating guidelines and protocols on a daily basis. One of the more recent recommendations is for everyone to self-quarantine for the next two weeks.
The roads have been more open, while many people stay at home for at least the next two weeks. According to CalTrans, highway traffic delays have declined by 11.5 percent on weekdays. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission reported a drop from 22,200 to 16,700 vehicles crossing the Dumbarton Bridge in the Bay Area.
Los Angeles has also seen a dramatic reduction of traffic on the road. Most schools and businesses are shut down for at least a couple of weeks. Roads and highways that are usually high traffic, are empty.
But don’t think that with clear roads comes clear-minded drivers. This is a stressful time for all of us. Always be vigilant when deciding to drive somewhere.
Dangers of Driving While Under Stress
The danger that comes with driving under stress is a lack of awareness on the road. If you are stressed and driving, you might not notice some obstruction in the middle of the road or a green light turning red.
Stressed driving can also reduce our patience and amp up our temper. If you are driving stressed and someone cuts you off, you might have a short temper.
Sometimes stressed driving can lead to road rage and accidents. It is important that this road rage is manageable so it doesn’t lead to a major collision.
Even with the utmost care, you may find that you become the victim in a car accident. If that is the case, you don’t need to take the first settlement offered to you and you don’t need to go it alone. Anthem Injury Lawyers offers the experience and expertise you need to win your case and get the maximum compensation due you for your injuries. Talk to us about your case – schedule your free consultation. Call (702) 857-6000.
Top Causes of Stress
- Road Construction
- Backseat drivers
- Merging at rush hour
- You’re lost
- Phone keeps ringing or buzzing
- Stuck behind a freight train
- Long driving distances
Driving Stress Coping Tips
These tips to reduce driving stress are also good suggestions for other stress you might be feeling.
- Music: What radio station you’re tuned to can have a big effect on your stress level. Try listening to classical or instrumental music instead of loud, intense songs. Or listen to your favorite playlist to put yourself in a better mood.
- Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety. Obviously, you can’t meditate while driving. But you can practice other mindfulness techniques. For example, pay extra attention to your surroundings. Be aware of each breath you take. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the present and focus on your drive.
- Podcasts: Listen to your favorite podcast or audio book to keep your mind at ease. Try a comedy podcast to make you laugh. Or try a scientific podcast to learn new things. If you listen to a podcast that interests you, then you’ll forget the stress of the road.
- Stay in the Same Line: Changing lanes to try to beat traffic doesn’t really put you ahead, it just puts you in more stress. When you try to get into a faster lane every chance you get, you’re not actually saving that much time. You can only get about 15 seconds ahead of a car that chooses to stay in one lane. Staying in one lane reduces the stress of merging, potential accidents, and feeling the need to beat the clock.
- Practice Gratitude: Think about the reason you might be in traffic in the first place. Perhaps you’re trying to get to a job you love. Or maybe you’re on the road to visit family. This will make you feel more in control. And it will remind you of positive things in your life: like a great job or a loving family.
- Be Comfortable: Make sure you are comfortable in the driver’s seat. Adjust the temperature if you’re too hot or too cold. Bring a second pair of comfortable shoes to wear for driving. Have a thermos of water or hot tea. These little comforts can make a big difference in driving stress.
- Turn Off the News: With the coronavirus spread causing much uneasiness and unrest, listening to the latest news could exasperate these feelings. Although it is important to stay informed about the news on the pandemic, it is also important for your health to regulate your news intake.
- Fresh Air: If you’re feeling stressed, roll down the windows and take a few deep breaths. The fresh air will help ground you and make informed decisions for the future.
- Aromatherapy: Keep your favorite air freshener hanging on your rear-view mirror. Or have a small spray bottle of your favorite aromatherapy spray on hand.
Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident that was caused by a stressed driver with road rage, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you protect your rights. Our car accident lawyers are experienced at handling all types of car accidents. These accidents include: large trucks or SUVs, accidents involving motorcyclists and bicyclists, and accidents where there was a driver who was driving under the influence/with an elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Car accident attorneys at our firm offer you the best opportunity to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. It’s okay to inform yourself with some data from the Internet. But when it comes to seeking maximum compensation, you’ll want to put your case in the hands of the experts: Anthem Injury Lawyers, serving Las Vegas and vicinity. Call us today for a free case analysis: (702) 857-6000. Our law office is located in Henderson, but we work with clients all over the Las Vegas Valley. Should you need us to, we can come to you. Call us today if you’ve been the victim in a car accident in the Las Vegas area.