We’ve all been there – traffic jams, inconsiderate drivers, even driving in bad weather… traveling in a variety of road and congestion situations can make you feel stressed.
According to a study conducted by the World Bank in 2015, Malaysian commuters waste between 270 and 500 million man-hours due to traffic congestion in the Kuala Lumpur region. The long wait in traffic congestion can lead to higher stress levels – in fact, consultants Frost & Sullivan found that over 40% of Malaysians found this as their number one frustration while on the roads.
A survey commissioned by Ford regarding the state of the commute in Asia Pacific found that a majority of Malaysian respondents said they spend more time in traffic than they did a year earlier, with 30.6% citing traffic congestion as the worst part of their commute.
Getting emotionally worked up rarely leaves us feeling any better off – it just passes on the frustration to another driver and spreads the road rage.
Instead, consider having a game plan before you even get into your car, and know what you have to do to help avoid frustration once you’re in the thick of things.
Follow the simple tips below to minimize your stress levels and to ensure that you arrive safely at your destination.
Before You Drive
1. Allow Time for Delays
This may seem like a no-brainer, but failing to give yourself a bit of breathing room when traveling to work or social engagements can create unnecessary stress, so allow time for unexpected delays.
2. Get some rest
Driving while tired can be stressful – and dangerous. Getting a good night’s sleep before hitting the road is a good step towards staying calm and in charge on the road. It’s just as important to rest regularly along the way of your trip. Modern vehicles even have alert systems that will keep track of your driving behavior and alert you to take a restif they sense you are starting to drift from side to side – a potential sign of driver fatigue.
3. Sound mind, sound ride
Make your vehicle a setting that reminds you of one of the reasons why it’s awesome to drive – playing and hearing what you want. The right playlist or the right talk radio station can help fend off stress and frustrationin a traffic jam. At a reasonable volume, this can help make the drive more pleasant and help you stay calm.
As You’re Driving
4. Drive smoothly
If burning fuel (and your money) is stressing you out as you sit idle in traffic, remember that smooth driving can help decrease fuel consumption. There’s no reason to rush five meters forward only to stop again. Accelerate and brake smoothly to in stop-start traffic help make your tank go further.
5. Give yourself some space
Tailgating is dangerous for everyone involved and a recipe for potential accidents – keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one ahead. Radar-based cruise control systems can prove handy in helping you maintain a set following distance. Some systems, such as Ford’s Adaptive Cruise Control, come with a Forward Collision Alert technology that can alert you when it detects a high risk of collision with the vehicle in front.
And if you do find yourself being tailgated, you might want to find a safe space to pull over and let the driver pass. Bad drivers are not worth your precious energy!
6. Drive and Let Drive
Decide to be safe. Don’t honk or stare, or use rude hand gestures. Take a few deep breaths. Though you can’t control traffic or other drivers, you can control your own behavior. Getting into a conflict is ultimately self-defeating, as it will not get you out of the traffic faster.
Source: Ford Malaysia