Failing to plan is planning to fail
Life is so busy. Wait; you already know that. The busier we get, the more stress it seems we also get. Part of controlling the stress we may have while driving is being prepared and having a solid plan. As the saying goes; failing to plan is planning to fail. As a driver we need to plan our travels, when to run our errands and how we’re getting to each of our destinations. Are you a planner or do you just “wing it” and hope goes well?
Teaching the new drivers at Young Drivers of Canada, they aren’t used to the planning part that a driver needs. They have often relied on their parents and friends to help them plan their driving routes. But since they are a driver, they need to build that into their driving skills.
Planning your route to reach your destination safely should be on every driver’s mind. What appears to be the quickest route isn’t always the best route. Let’s take a moment and figure out what would work best for most drivers.
The first thing to think about is how busy are the roads you’re using. The busier the roads, the slower the vehicles may travel, thus making the other drivers more stressed and prone to make unthinking decisions. See if there’s a road that may run parallel with your first choice but may be less travelled. If there is, it would most likely reduce the time to travel it and it could allow for more space around your vehicle.
Turns; we have to make them but decide which turns are safer than others. Left turns are the riskiest of all, so perhaps find the left turns at traffic lights that are at wider intersections where your visibility is improved. Left turns at advanced traffic lights also reduce risk as it allows more vehicles to make the turn in safety and reduces the time you’re sitting in a line of traffic. Planning your route to avoid making left turns would be ideal, but we know that isn’t always possible.
Each day on my way home I take a route that is far less travelled. I end up making a left turn at a stop sign instead of a traffic light. More times than not, there isn’t anyone else at the stop sign when I approach it, but the traffic lined up at the traffic light goes for blocks. Not only is it safer, it saves time and fuel. Oh yeah, far less stressful too!
Planning my travels also means I try to run my errands on the same day. Why spend the extra time and fuel running one errand a day? I plan them so I can do them on my way home from work if possible. Since I’m already in the vehicle to begin with, why not make that quick stop to the grocery store, dry cleaners, department store to get what I need?
Proper planning takes thought before you begin driving and also while you’re driving. If you make this into a habit, you’ll have less stress during your drives, less risk and feel like you’ve accomplished more in your day. More to gain and less to lose?