Commuting Tips: Make the Most of Your Daily Drive

Commuting Tips: Make the Most of Your Daily Drive

Our previous two blogs explored some of the vibrant communities, large and small, which surround Edmonton. One feature often involved in living in these places is the need for commuting to work. Whether the drive is revolting torture or relaxation time may depend on your approach.

Here are some tips on how to make the daily commute not just tolerable but enjoyable.

Find Commute Companions

Chances are great, if you live commuting distance to an employment hub, others in your area will also be working there. Using local social media can help you find fellow travelers to split costs and provide companionship for the daily drive. No Facebook page for your area? Go low-tech with a poster on your community billboard or an ad in the local paper.

Play that Funky Music!

Studies have shown playing music while driving makes people calmer and more alert at the wheel. On the other hand, we should avoid radio fare which makes us visualize content, distracting our attention from our surroundings. Sports broadcasts and audio books are good examples of this. Visualizing the Oilers’ play by play action, for instance, may actually cloud our real world vision, increasing your chance of a collision.

Talk to Fellow Passengers, Not to Your Phone

Science tells us being on the phone while driving makes you four times more likely to have an accident, even if talking “hands-free”. They claim it’s because phone conversations involve more “question and answer cycles” which require deeper thought than idle, in-car chit-chat. Also, passengers know to stop talking if there is a driving issue up ahead, allowing the driver full concentration. Cell phone callers can’t know what you’re driving into at any given moment, and, so, don’t know when to shut up!

BREAKING: Emergency Kits are Vital in Emergencies

Few Albertans need to be told of the importance of having an emergency kit in the vehicle all year round. Unfortunately, there are still lots of commuters who feel it unnecessary being only minutes from home and they commute on busy highways, not the backwoods. What they forget is the potential wait if they hit the ditch during a storm with tow truck companies quoting “8 hours… minimum”.

If unsure what an emergency kit should contain, click for a great link to help

Also Pack a “Justin” Case

You never know if you might have to stay overnight in town so pack a bag of must-haves just in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. It’s nice to have clean undies and all the other essentials along when stranded in the city.

Keep Your Cool

No matter how bad your day or how angry you are at your boss, spouse, government, sports team, world, etc, honking your horn or using enthusiastic hand gestures is unwise. Venting feels good in the moment but it can get you involved in a scary road rage situation. Bite your tongue, keep your hands on the wheel and remember forgiveness is the best response to “idiot drivers”. The goal, after all, is for everyone to get home safe.

Enjoy!

With the proper attitude, the daily commute can be a peaceful time to contemplate the work day ahead and unwind when it is complete. Like everything in life, the only thing we can control is our reaction to things. If you have to commute every day, all year long, you’d best find ways to enjoy it!

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