Stress and Driving

The image displays the words “Without Stress Tips” in white against a blue background along a gold lotus blossom.

Stress levels can be elevated by your driving habits.

Many recent scientific studies have shown that congested traffic conditions can heighten stress levels in drivers. The longer the distance one has to drive, the more dramatic can be the level of a person’s stress.

When experiencing stress, you may be affected totally—not only in your body but also in your emotional reactions, your personal thoughts, and your relations with others.

Sometimes it takes an unwanted experience to change driving habits. I know this from an experience I had after receiving a California Highway ticket a few months ago.

Southern California has carpool lanes that can only be crossed when the pavement has white lines. As I was impatiently driving in the fast lane in heavy traffic and saw the opening to move into the carpool lane about 20 feet ahead, I crossed the double yellow line. MISTAKE! The fine cost me hundreds of dollars plus time spent taking a driving course (online) so that there would be no negatives on my driving records.

The effect the experience had on me—especially so that I would not get another ticket for the next 18 months—was that I drive slower, don’t change lanes as often, refrain from tailgating, and have a mindset to enjoy all of my driving experiences.

Tip: Driving need not be stressful if you maintain a mindset of enjoying the experience.