10 Rules for Stress Free Driving

  1. Plan your journey so there is plenty of time for it.
  2. Have a quick nap if you feel tired.
  3. Those who are liable to and frequently feel sleepy should see their doctor. There are now pills available - Provigil - that are useful for the hyper-somnolent.
  4. Never drive if the night before has been disrupted and short. A conservative estimate is that one in five of motorway accidents are caused by drivers falling asleep.
  5. Remember that experiments that have shown that it is as unsafe to drive with a heavy cold, or even when sickened for some infection as it is for the normally built person to drive with the maximum allowable alcohol blood level. Special care is needed if the driver is feeling unwell.
  6. Use the train or taxi if the week has been too busy, or there has been a great deal of driving during it.
  7. Don't drive to a holiday destination if it is hundreds of miles away. Better to fly and hire a car on arriving.
  8. Children may make unhappy and disruptive passengers. This is one of the times when discipline has to be firm. There are few families who can't remember accidents or near-accidents because their children were fighting like obstreperous puppies in the back seat.
  9. Road rage is an unfortunate term as it implies an understandable condition that is not the driver's fault. It causes a great deal of stress to the object of the rage. People who suffer from road rage are disturbed. The variety of psychiatric or psychological problems which may make them liable to road rage are legion. Even so, in many cases the aggressor has psychopathic features. These drivers, absurdly enraged by some minor incident or inconvenience, can't tolerate being frustrated; they are unduly sensitive without possessing a well-developed conscience or sense of responsibility, and they are impulsive and lack self-control.
  10. Of all the absurd accoutrements of modern life that may be responsible for financial stress, a car seems to be the most unnecessary. The car has become a symbol of social and sexual potency. It is now a hallmark of temporal success rather than a means for travelling in reasonable comfort and safety without being so dilapidated that its limitations are stress-making. To avoid stress, choose a car that starts, doesn't break down and is capable of cruising without discomfort at the usual motorway speeds. Far better to get a good second-hand car than to suffer penury as a result of competing with colleagues and neighbors.

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