A map! A map! My kingdom for a map!
Do you know where you’re going? I mean, really know? While I was working the other day, I heard someone tell one of their passengers that someone who was supposed to meet them had gotten lost. I hate not knowing where I’m going. Some people have a tendency to tell me where to go, but most of them time I have to figure it out myself.
The best advice is not to use someone else’s directions. They can often be wrong and that gets you frustrated. I made that mistake many years ago. I had directions written down from a friend on how to get to his place in north-eastern Ontario. His directions were wrong. He said to turn left at the flashing amber light. I did, but he forgot the region had recently put up a second amber light on that same road. I ended up doubling back and turning at the proper road.
If you have a GPS device, use it. Program your directions into it and watch it direct you to where you need to go. The other advice for those of you without this electronic marvel is to use the old fashioned map! Yes, it still does the job when you need to know the exact roads to drive on. Once you’ve found the route you need, write down the directions in point form and write the name of the street prior to the one you need to turn onto. This will prepare you for the upcoming turn. Reading a map and driving….well, that’s just silly and dangerous!
I often use the radio to help me plan my route. Listening to the local radio station can let you know which roads are moving slower than another. Having that map in your vehicle can also help here. You can pull over and re-establish your route. I was returning home from western Ontario a few years ago when a truck had jack-knifed on the freeway. I took the first exit, pulled over and took out my map. I was able to continue along my way without making an incorrect turn. This reduced any anxiety I may have had if I didn’t know where I was going.
Going off your planned route can often lead to frustration. This “short cut” can often take longer! Working with participants of Canada’s Worst Driver, they often felt a short cut would be their best course of action. Nope. Didn’t work and it normally made them come in later than the other drivers. This was mainly due to the fact they didn’t know where they were going and often had to stop to think about it.
Reading road signs is also a big part of knowing where you’re going. If you miss a sign, you’re going to miss your exit or turn. Reduce the distractions inside your vehicle so you can pay attention to your route. Besides, they can’t all be the ‘route of all evil’!