When you’re behind the wheel, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget about your surroundings. That’s when you can get into accidents or end up getting a ticket.
On the other hand, driving mindfully can keep you safe on the road and reduce your stress levels.
Here are 6 tips to help you stay focused and safe on the road.
Pay Attention To Your Surroundings
It’s important to be completely focused on the road while driving. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by anything else around you.
This is, in fact, one of the most basic and important teachings of any driving course you attend anywhere in the world. You will always be taught to continuously “scan” the road and watch out for bumps, movement of other cars, and possible threats that could lead to an accident.
In addition to the road, you must also pay attention to the inside of your car. Are all the passengers buckled in? Are there loose objects that could become projectiles in a collision?
Factor in all the possibilities and make sure you have checked everything that could become a possible distraction or safety threat.
One important distraction for new drivers is getting their car damaged while driving. So it’s a good idea to get car insurance from a company like NRMA, which will help you stay calm and focused on the road.
But before you do that, you must understand the unexpected things that will increase your car insurance rates, especially if you’re young and struggling.
Once inside your car, there should be only one thing that you should focus on — driving. Multitasking while driving can be stressful, dangerous, and might lead to accidents.
This includes using your mobile phone, reading random stuff, or trying to have your breakfast on the go.
If you need to do something that takes your hands and mind off the wheel, pull over to the side and stop. Whether it’s a business call, a last-minute email, a Snapchat story, your morning coffee, or your favorite club sandwich, nothing is more important than your safety.
Simply put, focusing on driving and avoiding multitasking isn’t only an excellent mindfulness technique, but it’s also a great way to drive safely.
We often try to match or go slightly above the speed limit. Sadly, there is no particular reason for this habit— many of us are just used to driving this way.
And even when we believe there is a “valid” reason to drive fast, it still does no good and only makes a few minutes’ difference to the overall journey.
For just a few minutes, we drive irresponsibly and become anxious as we approach traffic jams. As a result, we change lanes impulsively and frequently pass vehicles in a reckless manner.
All of this puts you in an agitated state — far away from being mindful! So one excellent way to drive mindfully is to go easy on your accelerator and drive a little slower than the maximum speed limit. Plus, you should develop a habit of leaving early, so you don’t even think about rushing.
As you develop a habit of driving slowly, you’ll feel much more relaxed, composed, and mindful every time you hit the road.
Avoid Driving When You Are Tired
It’s never a good idea to drive when tired. Take a cab or have a friend drop you off if they can, because driving while you’re drowsy is extremely dangerous and can lead to accidents.
In case you can’t avoid getting behind the wheel, take breaks from driving whenever you feel you need them.
Get out of the car and take a walk, or just sit inside and relax for a few minutes. It will help you stay in a better and more controlled mental state.
Have A Positive And Respectful Attitude
If you want to drive mindfully, it’s important to respect other drivers on the road. Avoid honking unnecessarily, and try not to show any signs of aggression.
An easy way to avoid road rage is to remember that other drivers are also human and as vulnerable to making mistakes as you are. They have their own struggles and might be running late (just like you!).
Even if another driver does something that really annoys you, try not to react negatively. It will only worsen the situation and might even lead to an accident!
Practice Deep Breathing
Driving can be stressful and frustrating at times. And when we’re stressed, our breathing becomes short and fast, which makes it difficult to stay calm and focused.
Deep breathing is a simple yet effective way to counteract this response and helps you become more present and mindful on the road.
So, whenever you find yourself getting agitated while driving, take a few deep breaths and let them out slowly.
And That’s A Wrap…
We hope these tips help you create a more mindful and relaxed driving experience. Remember, mindful driving can be beneficial for your safety and the safety of those around you. So give it a try, and you may be surprised at how much difference it makes!