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How Does Driving Stress Affect Me?

If you’ve been feeling more stressed lately, you’re not alone. Anxiety levels are rising across the country, and this is only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our staff from our offices in Tampa, Winter Haven, and Auburndale have been learning different stress relief tactics. We figured it was time we share a little of what we’ve learned!

Every day, it can seem like we spend more time in the car than anywhere else. Sitting in traffic can be one of the biggest stressors in our day. Did you know there are actually physical effects of this? Read on for some driving stress relief tips!

The Effects of Driving Stress

Driving under stress does more than give you a metaphorical headache. It can also have serious effects on your health.

If you drive over 10 miles each way every day because of work, you can experience increased cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. If you’re caught in traffic, you may have briefly elevated blood pressure. But if your commute is just long, you are more likely to have higher blood pressure at all times.

It goes without saying that more stress in the car leads to more anxiety overall. But did you know that it can also lead to increased risk of depression? Stressed drivers report less sleep quality, more back pain, and less happiness.

Those who have to spend a lot of time in the car probably have less time to put into physical activity. Combining the increased risk of cardiovascular and mental health issues with decreased exercise can be dangerous.

Why Driving Under Stress Is So Dangerous

Stressed drivers can put themselves and the drivers around them at risk. They are more inclined to road rage. Anxiety can quickly turn into anger in a high-pressure driving situation, and you could drive more offensively. Remember that it’s always good to practice defensive driving instead. If you’re stressed to the point of anger, pull off somewhere and cool down before getting back on the road.

If you find yourself getting nervous while driving, your decision-making skills could be impaired. You could also stress other drivers out. Have another driver’s actions ever made you concerned? It can make it very hard to anticipate their next moves. You don’t want to do that to others and put them at risk.

How to Relieve Driving Stress

Relieving the stress of driving is actually quite simple. One of the biggest things to remember is that you can’t control everything. Other drivers, the weather, or traffic are outside of your control, so don’t worry about them! Just take care of yourself and your vehicle.

There are also a few other stress relief tactics you can try. If you know part of your drive tends to worry you, look on your GPS for an alternate route. Then you can avoid the stress altogether. While you’re on your GPS app, check ahead for any crashes or detours you need to be aware of. Sometimes if you can expect the slowdown, it doesn’t stress you as much when you get there.

Driving during peak hours is sure to mean more people on the road, which means more stress. Try leaving a few minutes earlier in the morning to avoid that traffic. This can keep you from being late too, so you won’t be worried about that.

Finally, try to entertain yourself during your drive! Listen to your favorite music, a new podcast, or an audiobook so that you stay hands-free. Another great idea is to carpool—riding with a coworker or friend can keep your mind off the stress. You can even trade off driving duty, so you get a break during the week!

Contact a Winter Haven Car Accident Lawyer Now

If you’re hurt in a car accident, you’ll experience even more stress. Call the experienced car accident attorneys at Brooks Law Group to relieve that stress. They will fight for you to get the compensation you need. Contact us today and get a free consultation!

Stay safe and stay stress-free!

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