If you commute to work during the week, you spend hours in your car. Spending so much time in your car increases your chances of being involved in a car accident. While some of these accidents are completely out of your control, many can be prevented if you keep safety in mind.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you get stuck in traffic. Creeping along the highway at 10 mph when you should be traveling at 65 mph is stressful to say the least. The problem is that once you get stressed and — let’s admit it — angry, you can start to make risky maneuvers that put you and everyone else at risk. Here are some ways that you can make your commute a safer one for everyone on the road.
Mindfulness has become a sort of catch phrase of late, but that doesn’t mean it is a fad or some new age idea. Mindfulness simply means that your attention is focused on what you are doing at that moment. In your case, it means that you are focused on the task of driving safely.
More specifically, being mindful while you are driving means paying attention to what is in front of you, feeling the movement of the vehicle, hearing the sounds around you and sensing the movements you are making.
Stretching can be relaxing and bring you back to the present. Instead of zoning out while you are in traffic, take time to stretch your hands and wrists. Stretch your arms over your steering wheel, clench your fists and release. Spread your fingers and then bring them back together. Do this and your hands will feel more relaxed and, ultimately, so will the rest of you.
We all know how to breathe — we do it all day, every day. Deep breathing is something that takes a bit of practice. If you feel yourself getting stressed or angry, take a deep breath in through your nose, filling your lungs. Exhale through your mouth. Count to four on each inhale and exhale. Repeat this at least 20 times. You will instantly calm down.
Distracted driving is a no-no, but it’s unrealistic to assume that you will be at your most heightened state of attention while you are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Spend that time planning out your day. What do you want to accomplish by the end of the work day? Think about the things you want to get done and make a mental checklist.
Whether you are having a meeting, giving a presentation or talking to a group of students about the benefits of an education, you have a great time to practice your speech. People around you will have no idea what you are doing so don’t worry about being stared at. Practice your talk several times while you are behind the wheel going nowhere fast.
Studies have shown that the more active our brains, the longer we remain cognitively sound. You can use the time in your car to train your brain. Practice memorizing the license plates around you. Start with one and add another and another and so on. Play a little game with yourself: Memorize plates until you make a mistake and then start over from square one.
Did you know that you can learn a new language, even as an adult? Purchase an app and spend the time in your car learning that language you always wanted to be able to understand. Think of the amount of time you have in your car during the week. The hours you spend daydreaming could be spent learning a new skill.
There are, of course, other tips that deal strictly with your safety. Wearing the right shoes, for instance, can prevent your feet from becoming caught. Heels and slides can be dangerous choices. Darting in and out of traffic is always a bad move. Laying on the horn isn’t going to make the cars in front of you drive any faster and chances are you’ll just make someone angry. You know all of these tips. Use them, but use the ones above in conjunction with those that are more common. Your commute will not only be safer, but it will be more productive as well.
If you are involved in an accident during your commute in West Palm Beach, you may have legal rights to compensation for the injuries you sustain. If you can prove that someone else caused the accident, that person may be ordered to pay for your medical bills, lost wages and more. Call our office today and schedule an appointment for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of the next steps to take.