RAC Cars News


Keep Calm And Drive

By raccars Published

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Whether it's the challenge of squeezing your massive SUV into a teeny tiny multistorey parking space, being stuck in traffic for hours and hours or other drivers' bad road manners, driving can be a stressful business. If, like 52% of other drivers, you feel your blood pressure rising every time you get behind the wheel, it may be time to investigate some stress busting tactics.

Leave yourself more time

At the risk of stating the obvious, leaving earlier gives you more chance of arriving on time and should make for a far more relaxed journey. If your morning commute is a nightmare, could you start work earlier? The roads are invariably more pleasant at the crack of dawn than in mid rush hour.

Listen to calming tunes

Music psychologists recommend listening to music while driving to help beat stress. Research suggests that two thirds of drivers already use the calming power of music but you have to choose your tunes carefully - apparently 'Someone Like You' by Adele, 'Imagine' by John Lennon and 'Africa' by Toto are all good stress busters, but you should avoid 'Firestarter' by the Prodigy or anything like thrash metal...

Avoid the rush hour

It's not always possible to avoid driving in the rush hour but if you can arrange your journey to take place at any other time of day, then do. Research has revealed that British motorists can spend up to 32 hours of every year stuck in traffic, so see if you can arrange flexitime at work or change your hours, to free up more of that time for more productive activities.

Plan your journey

Don't just blindly follow your sat nav, see if you can find an alternative route with less congestion - or re-arrange the settings, so that your device automatically chooses the route with the least traffic. You may even travel a few extra miles but if you are moving, the journey could still end up shorter and less stressful. If you are travelling to an unfamiliar destination, check your directions on the internet before leaving and investigate parking, rather than driving around for an hour frantically looking for a space when you arrive.

Don't lose your temper

81% of drivers have reported being at the sharp end of a road rage incident. Avoid confrontation whenever possible and don't allow yourself to be wound up by other drivers. If someone cuts you up, smile and wave. If you do something wrong, apologise and move on.

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