Posted by: safedriver | January 2, 2017

Texting while stopped at a light is still dangerous

textingLife is busy, I get that. Taking the opportunities to get things done when you get the chance is part of our daily routine. However, chances are being taken that can create major problems that many fail to realize. What am I talking about? Many people are still texting in the vehicle, but not just while in motion, but also texting while stopped at a red light. But is that so bad?

A recent Canadian poll conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) asked over 2000 drivers if they text while stopped. Roughly a third of those polled said they do. The plus side is that roughly two-thirds of those polled say they do not. Whether or not those who said they don’t text while stopped are telling the truth is another story. (Information can be found here https://www.caa.ca/many-canadians-admit-to-texting-at-red-lights-2/?sf51632905=1)

Is it a big deal if you’re stopped at a red light and you check your phone for messages? BIG. Your mind is now taken away from the entire driving environment. You’re distracted. When you look up and see traffic moving, you’ll move instinctively, but it may not be safe to do so. It’s a reaction, not a thought-provoking decision.

Many times over the years I would see traffic stopped at a red light. Traffic in the left turning lane would have an advanced green light and they begin to move while the rest of us have a red light. Suddenly, a driver facing the solid red light begins to move and goes straight through the intersection on a red light. Why? Because they looked up and saw traffic beside them moving. Yes, they were moving, but they had the light that allowed them to make that left turn.

The driver who was distracted with their cell phone looked up and was disorientated with their surroundings. You may have done it yourself. It will generally take a few seconds to get your mind back on track after focusing on something else for a few seconds. Luckily, some of those drivers who went through the red light went through without incident, but that doesn’t always happen. Others aren’t so lucky.

Think of this; you’re the first person in line at a red light in the right lane. You look down to your phone to text or read a text. You look up to see a green light and hit the gas because you feel you’re already late in moving. The only problem is that it wasn’t clear to proceed. A pedestrian or cyclist wasn’t through the crosswalk yet, but you hit the gas. Your mind was on. You jeopardized the safety of other road users.

Checking the phone for messages while stopped still may not seem like a big deal to many drivers, but after getting into the habit of checking while stopped, things can escalate. The next thing they’ll do is check their phone when they’re traveling the speed limit with no one around them, maybe as they drive on a quiet residential street. After that, they’ll begin checking their phone when traffic is near them. It can start small and then grow into major issues. **How distracted driving really affects us can be found HERE.

So why is it so important for some people to check their phones while driving? They often feel like they’re missing out on something. In many jurisdictions using a hand held device while in the driving position is prohibited by the law. A charge can come with a big fine and demerit points. But people still do it. Being stopped at a red light or stop sign is you still being in the driving position. You’re still in control of your motor vehicle – theoretically. Wait until you’re safely parked before checking your messages. Trust me, your messages can wait. Our lives are more important.

Posted by: safedriver | December 17, 2016

Vehicle electronics makes clearing off a vehicle more challenging

20161217_115330Winter comes and winter goes. Depending on where you are, you’ll either get snow and ice or you won’t. To those of us who get a lot of snow, clearing snow off your vehicle is something we all have to do, but it will take on a whole new meaning if you have a modern vehicle. Let’s start with the fact that your entire vehicle should be cleared of snow; not just the windows. Many drivers take the easy road and barely brush off enough glass to see. Clearing off the vehicle takes more effort than that, especially with our modern vehicles.

Many new vehicles come equipped with modern electronics to help drivers become safer on the roads. Some of these electronics include back-up cameras, blind spot indicators and lane departure warning sensors…just to name a few. These vehicle advancements won’t help you if they’re covered in snow, ice or just the everyday winter grime. The first thing you’ll need to do is find out where these sensors and cameras are located. Your owner’s manual can help you with this. Knowing where they’re located will aid you with ensuring they are cleared from the elements before driving away. They won’t help you if the sensor or camera can’t locate what you’re trying to see or avoid.

Once you know where these sensors or cameras are located, don’t think that clearing them of snow, ice or grit once will do the trick. If the roads become slushy or more snow falls they can easily get covered up again. Each time you’ve parked after reaching your destination, check these sensors and cameras to ensure they are clear before driving away again. For example, if you have blind spot indicators and they’re covered in snow, the light won’t flash to let you know a vehicle is next to you. If you tend to trust these devices over time to let you know if it’s safe to change lanes, you could be in for a rude awakening.

20161217_115353The same could be said for the back-up camera. If it’s covered in snow, ice or grime, you won’t be able to see anything and that could mean backing into another vehicle, garage door or pedestrian. Take those extra 2 seconds before entering your vehicle to clean it off before you begin to drive away. If your vehicle is equipped with a Lane Departure Warning camera, it’s often positioned on the top of the windshield. Like many drivers, they may use wipers to clear off the windshield. Using just the wipers doesn’t allow you to maximize your visibility, plus the snow you leave on the top of the windshield will stop the Lane Departure Warning camera from identifying if you’re beginning to wander in your lane. Don’t be that type of driver; clear off the entire windshield before driving away.

Since the automotive industry has given drivers additional safety features, they can only work when the sensors and cameras are usable and clear. Knowing they are all clear before you drive away can aid you in driving more safely. Or…you could drive like we did 20 years ago by relying on your own abilities and not the intelligence of the vehicle.

Posted by: safedriver | November 27, 2016

How a zipper merge is supposed to work

zipperWay back in the early 1900’s a man by the name of Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American engineer, invented the modern zipper. A few years later, traffic gridlock was invented. It’s too bad the two couldn’t work together and solve a problem.

When traffic is merging into another lane, such as in a construction zone, a lane closure or a highway or freeway, it helps all drivers if they could safely and smoothly merge together. Sort of like how a zipper works. This is often been referred to as the “zipper merge” because drivers from two lanes blend into one in what appears to be a seamless process. Well…it should be seamless, but it often isn’t.

For many people, it makes sense to use the zipper merge to blend into traffic. It takes very little effort, but it does take effort from all those involved. If you’re already in the flowing lane it’s best to keep a proper following distance from the vehicle ahead of you. You can still drive as fast as the traffic ahead of you. You just happen to have a larger gap between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Although many drivers believe following distance is judged by car lengths, it’s not. It’s judged by how many seconds you are traveling behind the vehicle in front of you. Following distance can be explained more HERE.

100_2572For those who are traveling along the lane which is closing with the hope to enter the flowing lane, you also must keep a safe following distance. Keeping this space between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you will help you to slide smoothly over into the next lane – aka like a zipper. You can really help yourself by keeping that extra space. Mistakes I see every day during my commute has drivers following too closely on the flowing lane and the same for those needing to merge with the other traffic. Neither side can allow the other side to slide over in the zipper merge. This is when frustration and unnecessary braking happens. It slows the traffic down even more. What happened to cooperative driving?

Traditionally, the zipper merge is often referred to and used by waiting until you reach the end of the closing lane and then slide over. Many drivers feel like those drivers are cutting off the drivers who are already in the flowing lane. Yes and no. Regardless of when you’re merging in, you’re most likely moving in front of another vehicle anyway, so what’s the big deal? Just do it and accept that other drivers will need to merge into your lane. Here’s how the zipper merge traditionally works in slow traffic http://journalstar.com/video-how-zipper-merge-works/youtube_c53c06cc-e77c-58a3-9b07-37af397163f4.html

Some drivers believe merging in early is the polite way to do it. Others believe merging in at the end of the closed lane allows for more flowing lanes before the closed lane. Whether you believe merging in early or merging in late is appropriate, creating a space large enough between vehicles to allow traffic to blend in together still needs to happen. So create the space… and zip it.

moneyThroughout life we try to protect ourselves. Many people try to eat healthy so they can lead a healthy life. Others look out for themselves financially so they can live a worry-free lifestyle in the retirement. It’s about planning out their future. The same can be said for the upkeep of your vehicle. Waiting until something goes wrong can often lead to financial issues. Vehicle repairs often happen well after the warranty expires and that can lead to major financial concerns for many people. Is there anything you can do to remove such a burden of high repair costs?

Have you ever thought of purchasing an extended vehicle warranty? An extended warranty is similar to insurance; it protects you from a major financial loss from unexpected vehicle repair costs. It helps to ensure repair costs are covered without the financial stress you would have if you had to pay for it all at once. This mental distraction can easily cause you to lose your focus each time you drive. An extended warranty can definitely pay off in the long run!

contractHow do you decide whether you should get one? The longer you keep your vehicle, the more wear and tear the parts may have. This wear and tear usually means major repairs are around the corner, and usually well after the manufacturer warranty has expired. These repairs would not necessarily be the usual $200. We’re talking hundreds or thousands of dollars. This makes the warranty something most drivers could really benefit from. However, there are a few things you should consider before jumping in with both feet to get that warranty.

Many extended warranties will cover most major vehicle components, but they are not as detailed as the “bumper-to-bumper” warranties which accompany new vehicles. Many extended warranties will not include items such as the windshield, headlights, or light bulbs. The daily wear items are vehicle parts that deteriorate over time from normal use. This will also include tires, brakes, and shocks.

Modern vehicles are more complex than older vehicles of just 10 years ago. These vehicles are equipped with expensive technology and computerized equipment, so when any of these systems fail, it can be expensive to diagnose and repair the problem. Since new vehicles are more mechanically reliable than ever before, a vehicle’s computerized systems represent one of the main reasons to purchase an extended warranty.

So who should think about getting an extended warranty? An extended warranty is ideal for someone who is on a fixed budget and does not want to be surprised with expensive repair bills. With that budget in mind, don’t always look for the cheapest coverage. Look for the coverage that gives you everything you need. Many companies can offer some form of discount. There’s no harm in asking and you may be surprised what you may get. Let them know your budget.

To know if an extended warranty is for you, add up how much you would have typically spent for repairs on your previous vehicles and compare the total to the price of the warranty. For example, if you’ve paid roughly $500 for repairs, compare that against the cost of the extended warranty. It would also be a wise choice if you searched the history of repairs for vehicles like yours. If the history determines high repair costs as the vehicle ages, an extended warranty may be a wise investment. You may also want to speak to a trusted automotive technician to determine which repairs would be common for the type of vehicle you have. This conversation would clarify if an extended warranty would work for you. And getting a quote is easy!

Once you’ve decided to purchase an extended warranty, you’ll have a contract with that warranty provider. In many cases, the warranty provider will offer a trial period of the warranty. Look over the contract carefully to ensure it’s what you really need and want before you decide this is for you.

Making modifications to your vehicle may put your warranty at risk and repairs may not be honored. Verify with the warranty provider before making any changes to your vehicle to ensure those changes would be covered under the warranty. Certain changes could be honored but the value of the warranty may be increased. Most extended warranties require you to perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. You need to show you’re looking after your investment.

Think of an extended warranty like health insurance or house insurance. You hope you never have to use it, but it’s comforting to know it’s there if you do. It’s SO worth it. Low monthly payments are often easier for most people to accept than having to pay out thousands of dollars up front for the repairs. In our financial world, we need vehicle protection. Not just for the safety of driving a vehicle, but for the financial security in our lives. The added benefit is with an extended warranty, you take your vehicle into the repair shop, and they deal directly with the warranty provider administrator, so you won’t have to deal with deciding on the price of expensive repairs. Sounds like a plan to me.

**To try an online quote from Endurance Warranty, click HERE.

Posted by: safedriver | November 9, 2016

The facts about nitrogen filled tires

Hamilton 2-20130926-00585More and more vehicles are being sold with nitrogen in their tires compared to having the tires filled with compressed air. Is this the way of the future when it comes to our vehicles? Are there any advantages or disadvantages to using nitrogen instead of compressed air? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Nitrogen is less likely to leave through the tire rubber than compressed air would. This means your tire pressures will remain more stable over the long term. Passenger vehicles can benefit from the more stable air pressures. But there’s more that drivers should be aware of. Some air pressure pumps will carry water inside it, usually in a vapour format. This humidity (water) is not a good thing to have inside your tire. Water, whether it’s present as a vapor or as a liquid, can cause more pressure changes with changes of temperature than dry air does.

When the tires lose pressure it can become a serious vehicle handling issue. An underinflated tire has less tread making contact with the road surface. This reduction in traction can seriously affect the way you brake and steer. Not only that, those spots on the tire wear down quicker than the rest of the tire and that uneven wear means new tires sooner.

Tires are generally inflated with compressed air which is a combination of roughly 78% nitrogen (N2), 21% oxygen (O2) and 1% other miscellaneous gases. Here’s a fact: all gasses will expand when heated and will contract when cooled. Tire inflation pressures tend to rise and fall with changes in outside temperature by about one PSI (pound per square inch) for every 10° Fahrenheit, or 6° Celsius, change in outside temperature. For these reasons, it’s recommended you check tire pressures early in the morning before temperatures really change significantly. The natural radiant heat of the sun or the heat generated by driving can actually cause the tire pressure to increase.

nitro-picPure nitrogen has been used to inflate tires because it doesn’t support moisture or combustion. The challenge facing filling your tires with nitrogen has been its method of supply and cost.

So, is it worth it to inflate your tires with pure nitrogen? If you can go somewhere that provides free nitrogen, then absolutely. However, many service providers are offering prices around $5 per tire to a less reasonable $10 per tire or more to fill your tire up with pure nitrogen. Some service providers provide air compressors for free or you may have to pay a few coins to fill up all of your tires.

However, rather than paying extra for pure nitrogen, you would be better off buying an accurate tire pressure gauge to allow you to check each tire pressure regularly. Fuel economy will depend on how well you can maintain proper air pressure in all four tires. It doesn’t really matter what type of gas is in the tire. If the tire is properly inflated, the fuel economy will be consistent.

Posted by: safedriver | October 29, 2016

Be a good role model…in life and while driving

driving-tips-car-games-2009-01-711x260I try to be a good role model. With 4 kids, plus their friends, watching me, it’s sometimes tough to do the proper thing as a parent. Being tired or frustrated leads us into doing the wrong things at times. We know as parents we shouldn’t follow the rule of “Do as I say, not as I do”. There’s often that little voice in the back of my head that tells me “Don’t do it! The kids are watching!” which helps to keep me in line when I may be tempted to do the wrong thing in front of my kids. That same voice also lets me know I’m doing the right thing. That’s reassuring. Maybe you have that same voice in your head?

Despite the number of years you’ve been driving, there are always temptations to perhaps not do the proper thing while driving. Having a bad day or a bad moment may temp drivers to verbalize their displeasure toward another driver. Bite your tongue and say nothing. Be patient. I remind myself of the same advice I’ve given to thousands of drivers about letting it go. I honestly do feel better when I do let the frustration pass by, even if it does take a few minutes. Not only does it help to let it go so you can make better driving choices, it helps to send the message to your kids who are in the vehicle with you that staying calm is a better idea while driving.

I’m not sure how I would feel if any of my kids got in trouble from something they did while driving and all they did was act the same way I normally do. I take that back. I know exactly how I would feel. I would feel like I let my kids down, especially if they said to me “Dad, I only did what you do all the time.” Doesn’t really sound fair to them now does it?

I recently watched the dad of friends of my kids show a poor driving style. Being a positive role model is more than just keeping your temper in check, it’s also about how much of the traffic laws you follow. Driving behind them I witnessed the dad rolling through 4 stop signs. He wasn’t even close to stopping when he needed to. It was like the signs weren’t there. Both of his kids were in the vehicle with him. Does this mean when they learn to drive it’s okay for them to do the same thing?

Remember, when your kids learn to drive, the role model they’ve had their entire lives when it comes to driving is you. If you roll stops, they will too. If you talk on your cell phone while driving they will too. If you constantly speed, they will too. The list is endless. So make the best of it and show your kids how to be the best driver there is. Your kids are depending on you.

Posted by: safedriver | October 19, 2016

Driving in rush hour isn’t that bad

toronto-trafficLike millions of people every day, I have to drive in rush hour traffic. Maybe I’m blessed because I get to do it twice. How lucky am I? Instead of rush hour, I would prefer to drive in rush minute, but that will never happen. I joke because in reality, why get upset about it? It is what it is. Some of us have to spend over an hour to reach our destination in rush hour. It can take a toll on us, but there are things you can do to help keep your stress level down.

The first thing to do to help you keep your sanity is to accept it. You don’t have to like the fact you need to drive in rush hour traffic. You just need to accept it as part of your driving life. Just like driving in snowy weather. I may not like it, but considering where I live, I do accept it.

Let’s face facts, driving in rush hour will mean a lot of stop and go traffic. Remove your distractions within your vehicle before starting your commute. Many drivers will have their coffee with them, so decide when it’s best to have a sip. If all the traffic around you has stopped and so are you, take a quick drink. Tilting your head back while in stop and go traffic may cause you to be late responding to brake lights ahead of you. You should also set up your music ahead of time if that’s what you like to do. It stops you from being distracted while in motion trying to get that good tune. Put your phone on silent and put that away as well. Loose objects can also distract you, so keep those secured as well.

Choosing the lane that will allow you to easily reach your destination is obviously helpful. Plan your route to ensure you’re in that lane soon enough to avoid making last minute lane changes. Many drivers make the error of last minute changes. This adds risk to themselves and other road users. Early lane changes mean less risk of collisions, less stress for you and a calmer driving environment.

Speaking of lane changes, are you the type of driver who tends to weave in and out of traffic, trying to get ahead? It’s not worth it. I see it happen just about every day and I often pass that driver who was trying to get ahead. Stay patient and choose that lane which flows the best. On the expressway, I choose the lane that allows other drivers a safe entry onto the freeway. It helps with the “zipper effect” so traffic can blend in and flow nicely. And avoid tailgating. You need time to see brake lights, time to get your foot from the gas to the brake and time to stop. More about tailgating here.

Drivers make mistakes. I get that. We all make mistakes from time to time. Remember that if a driver cuts you off, they most likely didn’t do it on purpose. Don’t take it personally. They were just trying to do a lane change; maybe to avoid another driver. Perhaps they thought they had more room than they actually had. They weren’t trying to annoy you….as much as you may think they were.

Let’s talk loss of time. There will be slowdowns that aren’t always there each time you make that commute. There may be added road construction or a collision that slows down traffic. Leave early enough that will allow you to reach your destination on time just in case there are slowdowns. If the slowdown causes you to be later than normal, take a deep breath. It’s better to be slightly late than involved in a collision or get a ticket because of aggressive driving. Talk to your employer about making up lost time if that was to happen.

If driving in this traffic isn’t your thing, try alternatives. Use public transit if it’s available. It gives you time to relax before you reach your destination. Another option is to share the drive by carpooling. It can reduce the cost of fuel, maintenance and perhaps parking costs if you share the drive with other people. It can also help reduce your stress level since you get to relax as the passenger from time to time.

Removing this kind of stress can help you make better driving choices, whether you drive in rush hour or rush minute.

Posted by: safedriver | October 15, 2016

What motorcyclists may need…and want

motorcycle-helmet-1Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. It doesn’t matter if you’re a pedestrian, cyclist, motorcyclist or driver of an automobile; it’s your responsibility to perform in such a manner that helps to keep you and others safe. I know; I should tell you something you don’t already know. Although millions if not billions of people know this, they still assume they won’t be injured and take road safety for granted. Are you this type of person? Do you put safety to the wayside?

When it comes to safety, we need to look after ourselves. This is especially true when it comes to motorcycle riders. I’ve written about motorcyclists every now and then, but not for a while. However, I recently found this cool site online called Bike Bandit which made me think about their safety as well. There are many places that offer motorcycle riders options, but check them out. They have everything you can think of – and maybe things you haven’t thought of – to allow a rider to keep their motorcycle in top condition, plus items to help keep them safe as the rider.

They have all the motorcycle gear to help keep you safe while riding it. It almost seems like every day I witness a motorcycle rider wearing just a t-shirt and jeans. That may help them look cool, but it doesn’t protect them in case of a violent swerve where the rider leaves the bike. Road rash is a common injury after a motorcycle crash. Wearing the proper gear will help protect your body. A young friend of mine just got her motorcycle and with it came the gear. Gloves, leather jacket and pants are the normal attire for her, even during the recent hot summer we’ve just had. She knows it can save her from tough injuries.

If you really want to look cool while riding, you should check out their line of motorcycle helmets. Safety-conscious motorcycle riders will wear helmets each time they ride. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to protecting any part of your head. A good helmet can also cut down on any wind noise and on the wind blasting on your face and eyes. Take the time and effort to make a quality decision when choosing a helmet. Look for safety, but keep in mind comfort as well. A comfortable helmet can remove those distractions and allow you to focus on the road.

They also offer a wide range of motorcycle parts and accessories to ensure your motorcycle is running smooth for years to come. A properly running bike will respond to your commands when you need them. Using Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts ensure your motorcycle is running as good as new. Bike Bandit has replacement and OEM parts for just about any bike you may have. OEM parts are designed specifically for your bike and will bring it back to factory condition. You can’t really ask for more than that.

I know there are many places the motorcyclist can go for what they need. This is just an option and based on what some of my motorcycle friends have said, this site is worth a view.

Posted by: safedriver | September 30, 2016

The more you know about Electronic Stability Control…

toyota-escSo much technology has become available for new vehicles with each passing year. In reality, it seems like we’re driving “rolling computers” these days. Understanding what each automotive technology can do for us is important. These modern technologies are designed to keep us safe while we drive. Knowing exactly what these technologies can do for us and how they work is important if we’re going to take advantage of them and not fear them.

One such automotive technology is Electronic Stability Control, or ESC. To some, you may know it as Electronic Stability Program (ESP) or Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), just to name a few. Despite what you may call it, it has a function which could help you keep your vehicle under control. Essentially, ESC will detect if the vehicle is losing traction or steering control during a panic swerve or when driving on a slippery road surface. It will automatically apply braking to individual brakes which will help bring the vehicle safely back in line, without the danger of skidding out of control. ESC will only be activated when it detects a possible loss of steering control, such as when the vehicle is not responding to where the driver is steering toward.

When ESC is activated, braking is automatically applied to individual wheels. When ESC is applied, it will make a noise as if something is broken with your vehicle. Don’t worry though; everything is fine. The outer front wheel has braking applied to counter an oversteer (fish-tailing) and braking will automatically be applied to the inner rear wheel to counter understeer (plowing ahead). Since ESC can apply the brakes to individual wheels, while the driver can only activate brakes to all four wheels at the same time, ESC can recover from potential skids that a driver simply can’t. Some ESC systems may also reduce engine power until control is once again regained. ESC does not improve a vehicle’s cornering ability, so you’ll still need to slow down for the conditions.

This video can explain more; https://youtu.be/MCRLKRluk1w

ESC can be quite effective, but it depends on the amount of traction between the road and the vehicle. For example, if the vehicle has tires without sufficient tread, under inflated tires or tires not designed for the climate, ESC will be less effective compared to a vehicle with proper tires specific to a road conditions. (**Learn more about tires HERE) ESC is built with the aid of the anti-lock brake system (ABS), and all ESC equipped vehicles do include traction control, a secondary function of ESC. Traction control senses when the drive wheels lose traction and begin spinning. When this happens it will often reduce engine power. Traction control may be able to prevent some skids, but it does not provide the same level of safety that ESC does.

**Learn more about Anti-Lock Brake Systems HERE

Despite the fact that ESC can help you maintain control of your vehicle, the best safety feature you have in your vehicle is YOU. ESC won’t keep you out of all collisions. Only you can do that. Drive to the conditions of the road and slow down for corners. See if you can drive in such a manner that ESC doesn’t have to come on. It’ll be worth it.

Posted by: safedriver | September 20, 2016

Traffic getting you down? Get over it

procrastinatingMany people have a morning mentality when it comes to driving. Some of it is good and the others…well, not so good. They wake up, splash some water on their face, get dressed and out the door. Sound familiar? Oh yeah, they grab that all so important first cup of coffee. Let’s face facts; coffee is a food group to many people, especially in the morning. I belong to that club. It’s one of the first things I do when I get up in the morning – thank you coffee; you’re good to me. It seems to be part of my morning mentality. It’s my jump start to the day as it is with many others. Without it, the day may not start off too well.

So how can you survive your morning mentality or perhaps improve on it? Let’s talk about the issues of the morning commute. Too much traffic, not enough time to get to work, maybe not enough coffee and…well…you’re still too tired. You become distracted by your own environment. You may wake up angry or grumpy. Any of these issues can result in a traffic violation, a collision or just a bad start to your day all because you’re not focused on the reality of the driving situations. However, there are solutions for these issues to improve your morning mentality.

The first thing is to learn to accept these issues. There will be days you’ll be late and/or frustrated. Traffic will be slower than normal and other drivers may annoy you. You won’t like it, but you just can’t control every situation. Get over it. Recently I left for work slightly earlier than normal. The roads were clear and there were no traffic reports stating there was a delay on any of the routes I take. However, it took me more than double my normal time to reach my destination. It turns out a vehicle was broken down which blocked one of the access roads. We all had to take our turn to switch lanes to pass that vehicle. Nothing I could do about it but wait my turn. Was I annoyed? Yes, but it was what it was. I got over it.

I often watch drivers weave in and out of traffic trying to get ahead of everyone else during the morning rush, or at least try to save some time. Sorry, but that doesn’t work either. I usually end up passing these same drivers who tried to get ahead of me earlier. I relate this to standing in line at a cashier’s check out. Many time the longer line moves steadiest and quickest. The shortest line may be slower because of the individual in the lead who is holding things up. All I can say here is…patience. Your traffic line will move soon enough.

The further your commute, the greater chance you may be late if there’s a traffic slowdown. We understand that. To allow for enough time to reach your morning destination, check traffic reports well before you leave home. If you find your route is slow, you can leave sooner or choose a different route which may not be blocked. Listen to traffic reports on the radio while driving to find the latest updates of the traffic. These tips may give you an advantage to allow you to reach your destination on time, plus help you stay calm and enjoy the journey. And if you end up late, nothing you could do about it. You tried your best. Now get over it.

**Many more articles which can help you improve your driving mentality are available…just check here and use the search function.

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