White Knuckle Driving? Conquer Your Fear Of Heavy Traffic
Driving is often looked at as one of the most liberating things a person will ever experience, and at first, it’s likely that all new drivers feel this way. Unfortunately, as driving becomes less of a joy and more of a chore, stress can actually start affecting a driver. This can sometimes lead to road rage, but it seems as if women are more able to stay calm behind the wheel since men reportedly experience more road rage incidents. This doesn’t mean, however, that complete anxiety can’t grip the fairer sex when in high speed and traffic situations.
Causes of Anxious Driving
There are several reasons a person may experience anxiety while driving. First and foremost, being on an interstate with four lanes of traffic and cars speeding all around presents a highly stressful situation. It can be scary to even try to merge into a different lane while entangled in a traffic hell such as this. Additionally, many people actually have stress issues after being involved in serious car accidents. Some individuals, in fact, have been unable to get back into a vehicle for large periods of time after such an incident.
If you reside in a high traffic city like Miami or New York it can seem daunting to get back behind the wheel after an accident. In this case some counseling may be necessary. According to Miami, FL car accident lawyers, Steinger, Iscoe & Greene, ”the best way to handle this is to coordinate your treatment through your own insurance’s personal injury protection (PIP).” Any amount that is not paid by your insurance should be submitted to the at-fault driver’s insurance.
If not addressed early, these fears can actually make it more dangerous for a person to drive. People who become stressed in these situations often engage in behaviors such as untimely lane changes to get out of the fast lane or simply riding the brake when it’s unsafe to do so. In fact, statistics show that these dangers aren’t merely theory.
The Dangers of Stressed Driving
A 2010 study actually found that driving while stressed can increase a person’s chances of being involved in an auto accident. People experiencing anxiety behind the wheel simply cannot focus their attention on what’s going on around them. This is especially the case in urban areas since drivers are often pressed for time and surrounded by constant distractions.
In fact, the study found that stressed driving has the same dangerous effects as driving while having a conversation on a cell phone. While many people may not view this as dangerous, accident reports have found that talking on a cell phone increases a person’s chances of being in an accident fourfold. So in reality, stressed driving is extremely dangerous.
Beating the Anxiety
Fortunately, there are a few ways that a person can minimize their stress behind the wheel. First and foremost, a person should sit in their vehicle for a few minutes and simply relax themselves. While doing this, it doesn’t hurt to put on one’s favorite radio station or CD so they can simply decompress while driving down the road. For those whose favorite music is death metal, it may be a good idea to not head bang while driving.
Many people also find singing aloud will reduce their stress behind the wheel. This will take a person’s mind off of the stress they usually experience. Others merely focus on their breathing to get out of their own head. For those who would rather ease into dealing with stressful traffic, it’s a good idea to use a GPS or online mapping system to find alternative routes that aren’t nearly as busy.
In a perfect world, everyone who experiences anxiety while driving could simply revert back to how they felt when they first got their license and were able to hit the open road on their own. Sadly, just like everything else in life, driving can become far less amusing when a person has to do it. Fortunately, those who get stressed behind the wheel aren’t doomed to either live in fear or stay home. By simply understanding the dangers out there and working to overcome them, it’s possible for anyone to enjoy their time behind the wheel.
Teresa Stewart is a professional blogger who frequently researches car accidents. She was able to find a lot of valuable information by performing online searches for Miami, FL car accident lawyers and New York car accident attorneys.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveynin/2477374996/