In the age of technologically advanced automobiles, with automatic gears and sensor-activated safety features, it is not uncommon for you to get distracted by other activities while driving. From calling and texting, to sipping coffee and snacking, your smart vehicles make it very tempting to multi-task irresponsibly. Since managing your car has become so effortless, you tend to focus less on the actual drive and more on other thoughts. How often has it happened that you are steering your vehicle, but:
- Thinking about a difficult personal or professional situation?
- Having mock conversations in your head to resolve a disagreement?
- Almost nodding off at the wheel because you are sleep deprived?
A recent study shows that drivers who have slept less than four hours in the past 24 hours, are 15.1 times more likely to be in a car crash. Whether it is lack of sleep, emotional troubles, or a difficult commute, if you are stressed while driving, you are putting yourself, your vehicle and everyone else around you at risk. Read on for more from the auto insurance brokers at HDF Insurance in Edmonton.
How to Manage Stress While Driving
Losing focus while driving could mean you are either sleep deprived, distracted, or stressed. Here are some tips to manage these issues and prevent car accidents.
- Sleep Deprivation: Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep before you hit the road, especially for a road trip or long drives.
- If you haven’t been able to sleep well, look for alternatives such as calling a taxi or car-pooling with friends or colleagues.
- If you absolutely must take the wheel in a sleep-deprived state, drink a hot, caffeine-based beverage, or eat a sugary snack to get a temporary energy boost.
- At any point of time, if you feel you are not fully focused on the road, pull over and park in a convenient spot. Get a power nap in the car before proceeding further.
- Distracted Driving: Given the variety of perils on busy city roads or highways, you have to be completely alert and focused on the drive. Simple things, such as keeping your phone off, listening to music at a reasonable volume, and ensuring that your windshields are clean and unobstructed, will go a long way in preventing a car crash. For more on distracted driving, we investigated the impact of marijuana use and car insurance and how it will impact drivers here.
- Stressed Driving: When you are stressed, your body tends to release excessive cortisol. This hormone tends to put you in a fight or flight mode, which can lead to impulsive or aggressive driving, or even road rage issues. Moreover, stress impacts your reflexes and alertness, which means you may not spot another erratic driver or a stray pedestrian in time to steer clear and avoid an accident. To prevent stress-induced impaired driving:
- Leave early and account for some extra time in your commute, especially if you are heading to an important appointment during peak traffic hours.
- Find a different route that may be less busy, or if possible, avoid driving during rush-hour.
- Perform simple deep breathing exercises to calm your nerves to feel instantly relaxed. This is very helpful if you find that stressful thoughts are crowding your mind.
Secure your Edmonton Vehicle with the Right Auto Insurance Policy
No matter what the reason for your impaired driving is, if you are in a car accident, your Edmonton auto insurance policy will quite likely take a hit. Brace yourself for a significant increase in your premium amount, especially if the insurer determines you to be 25% or more ‘at-fault’.
Despite all the precautions you may take for a safe drive, you can never be sure of how other drivers or pedestrians may behave. Besides, there may be factors, such as inclement weather, or poor road conditions that are beyond your control. In order to protect your vehicle and enjoy a hassle-free drive, select the right auto insurance policy, with adequate and comprehensive coverages. The experienced brokers at HDF Insurance can provide you with the best coverage and rates for auto insurance in Edmonton. With vast industry knowledge and an extensive network, we access and compare a wide range of insurance products, before helping you make the right choice.