- Leave early. If you need to be somewhere on time, make sure you have enough time to get there.
- Drive the speed limit. If you don’t, you must watch out for the police or you will get a ticket. If you watch out for the police, you will suffer more stress than it’s worth. When you speed you will also be frustrated by anyone going slower than the speed you have chosen. Speeding is often an ego-driven desire to triumph over others. When you drive the speed limit you are much less likely to see other drivers as adversaries, you rarely need to pass, and when you do, it is often very easy to do.
- Don’t follow closely. Leave about 10 car lengths in front of you on the freeway and you will almost never need to hit the brakes. Bumping the cruise control deceleration button once or twice is often enough to substantially grow the space between you and the next car, like money in the bank if you want a stress-free driving experience.
- Don’t drive in the fast lane. No matter how fast you drive, people will want to get around you.
- If someone is tailgating you, ignore them. Sometimes they are truly in a hurry, and they have nothing against you. Sometimes they sincerely believe that you deserve the wrath of Hell. If you respond to them, they will escalate their aggression and you will be in the middle of a stressful conflict. Just ignore them; imagine that your mirrors are set so that you cannot see them at all. They can always go around you. If a tailgater persists, lowering your speed three miles below the speed limit is usually enough to send them on their stressful way in a hurry.
- Leave a cushion of space to your left and your right. Although this is not always possible, it makes it very easy to change lanes when you have to.
- If someone is not letting you into their lane, go behind them. Slow down and be patient. You will eventually get over.
- Avoid aggressive drivers. They are erratic and unpredictable. That’s stressful.
- Avoid driving during rush hour. Get to work early and leave late. You can get lots of valuable work done and avoid the hassle of dealing with thousands of angry, stressed-out drivers.
- Make a meditation of driving economically. Hybrid cars achieve high mileage per gallon by storing some of the energy used in acceleration to be used again for the next acceleration. You can accomplish much the same thing by coasting or braking lightly as soon as possible when you observe that a stop ahead is inevitable. Your car’s momentum can even be conserved during cornering. Instead of accelerating to a corner and braking hard in the corner and then reaccelerating, search for a speed that will require little to no braking. Rapid acceleration and deceleration is stressful for both car and driver. Indeed, it is stressful to the planet.
- Instead of squandering your consciousness on greater speed, observe your surroundings. You will simultaneously be more aware of the beauty around you and more alert to hazards than you would be if you were pushing for speed and/or lost in thought.
- Driving fast does not help that much. On local streets it’s completely futile because everyone stops at the same stop lights–you may gain 30 seconds if you’re lucky. If you are driving 20 freeway miles, an average speed of 85 miles per hour (truly aggressive driving) will get you there a whopping 4.5 minutes faster than driving the speed limit. Is it really worth the risk of tickets and accidents coupled with the extra effort it takes to dodge and weave through the other cars while keeping a lookout for the cops?
- Attempting to weave through stop-and-go traffic may increase your average speed 1 mph if you are lucky. This will get you there a few seconds earlier.
- Another suggestion to avoid the stress of driving is to take public transportation instead. Nothing is less stressful than other people doing the driving for you.
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