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March 4, 2024

8 Tips for Stress-Free Driving

The fact is, driving can be stressful. But with some planning ahead, routine maintenance, and tire maintenance, you can take a lot of the stress and anxiety out of driving.

Stewart’s Donnybrook Automotive, a trusted local auto mechanic shop in Tyler, Texas, has worked with generations of drivers.

Whether you drive often or not, driving stress-free makes all the difference in your journey.

1. Are You Comfortable…and Can You See?

How much attention do you pay to how your body feels while driving and after driving? When you get out of the car, do your legs and/or back hurt? Are you stiff and sore? How do you hold the steering wheel? Are your hands and fingers tense on the wheel?

If so, you might need to put some thought and awareness into properly adjusting the seat of your car and/or how you’re positioning yourself as you drive. Pay attention to how your seat is adjusted. This is especially true for long drives and commutes. If you’re spending hours of your day in a car seat, it’s important to make sure you’re positioned so that you’re not hurting your body and causing unnecessary stress.

Driving safely and stress-free is also connected to adjusting seats and mirrors. You don’t want to realize that your mirrors aren’t properly positioned as you merge into a car you couldn’t see. It’s important you take the time to tune your mirrors and remove anything blocking your visibility.

2. Time is Your Friend

For most of us, being late is stressful. We’ve all been guilty of driving too fast because we’re late for work, a medical appointment, a meetup with a friend, etc.

There are many things that make being late not only stressful driving conditions but also dangerous. Driving too fast can be dangerous for you and the people around you. It increases the likelihood you have an accident or the possibility you don’t see a pedestrian, dog, or other obstacle.

It also increases the likelihood of getting into an accident (which is also incredibly stressful) because of distracted driving. When we’re late, we’re more likely to get out our phones and try to rectify the situation. Using our phones while driving has proven time and again to cause accidents.

Making sure to give yourself a time cushion by leaving on time or even a little early can help relieve a considerable amount of the stress of driving.

3. Maintenance for Your Car and Your Peace of Mind

Keeping your car, truck, or SUV maintained means you can drive more stress-free knowing your vehicle is in the best working order, instead of worrying that you need an oil change, a belt or filter needs replacing, fluids will run out, or that something as important as your brakes aren’t in the best working condition.

Make an appointment with your trusted local auto mechanic and utilize their engine diagnostics and oil change services. Have your vehicle thoroughly inspected and repaired as necessary. When you drive away, you can have more peace of mind knowing your car or truck is in the best working order and less likely to break down because of something as easy to fix as running out of oil.

4. Are You Confident in Your Tires?

Worrying about whether your tires are in good shape and won’t go flat when you drive can cause a lot of stress. But happily, that’s an easy fix: make an appointment with your local auto mechanic who also specializes in tires and have your tires inspected. Then you don’t have to worry about flat tires because of loss of air, cracks, etc., or the dangers of encountering rain or snow with little or no tread.

5. Plan Your Route

Good planning can go a long way to making a stress-free driving experience. Take the time to familiarize yourself with your route in advance. We’ve all experienced that horrible moment where we realize our navigational system has failed us in some way—whether giving us wrong directions, running out of service, or other issues. When this occurs, it can be incredibly stressful—especially if you’re driving in an unfamiliar area or in heavy traffic.

It can also once again lead to the dangers of distracted driving as you focus on your phone or other navigational device instead of the road.

Take time to look ahead at the details of your route—the turns, road names, landmarks, etc. ahead of time.

6. Plan Your Playlist

Another way to make sure you’re not driving distracted is to plan your playlist ahead of time. Set up a list of podcasts, music, audiobooks, etc., to make the drive go faster—and you don’t have to take your attention away from driving.

7. Do You Have All You Need for the Drive?

Before you start on your drive, make sure your car is stocked with anything you might need so you won’t have to make unnecessary stops. Equip your car with everything from an emergency kit (which you should always keep in your vehicle) to a blanket, water, snacks, weather-appropriate clothes, etc.

8. Give Yourself Breaks

Taking a break while driving can go a long way in making it a less stressful experience. It’s a chance to stretch your body, get a little exercise, and refocus your attention on the drive, which is also a way to make your drive safer.

Whether it’s taking time out of the rush hour crush to stretch your legs at a park or planning stops during a road trip, taking breaks goes a long way in relieving driving stress.

Driving doesn’t have to be stressful. Especially because it’s a necessary part of many people’s lives, taking the stress out of driving can do a lot for your quality of life.

Start by calling your local auto mechanic and having your vehicle maintained and inspected so you know it’s in top working order before you hit the road.

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