The workplace isn’t the only place where you should strive for safety. The roadways can be equally as dangerous and an accident before work can start you off on the wrong foot. If you are like millions of other drivers, commuting may be one of your least favorite parts of the day and for good reason, according to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), a division of Texas A&M University, the average commuter spends about 42 hours a year in traffic congestion.
Not only can traffic congestion cause major headaches and stress, it is also a contributing factor in accidents across the U.S. Texas, alone, is notorious for some serious traffic jams. Here are some tips to having a safer commute and ways to prepare for your morning drive before you even hit the road:
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep can be hard to come by, particularly when you’re putting in overtime and trying to balance a life outside of work. A good night’s sleep is essential to physical and mental health, productivity and safety at work as well as safety on the road. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that adults get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep at night. Additionally, NSF also reports that at least 100,000 crashes occur each year due to sleep deprived drivers. Do yourself a favor and get enough sleep, even it means skipping the nightly news report or chatting with friends on social media.
Prep for the Day the Night Before
Remember how Mom used to urge you to set out your clothes for school, the night before? It’s not a bad idea. The more prepared you are for your day, the better. If your morning is full of too much to do before you even get behind the wheel, you may leave the house stressed out, running late, and as a result, you may drive more recklessly thus increasing your risk of an accident.
Some drivers really hate commuting. It can be stressful, it can cause anxiety, and it can cause rage. If you get in the habit of relaxing before you leave for work, you may be and feel ready to face morning gridlock. While a relaxing bubble bath may be out of the question, some yoga poses or even brief meditation could put you at ease, making you more focused and less likely to lose your cool while driving. Relaxing exercises not your thing? Consider going for a brisk walk, a short run, or even hit the gym before work, it may have the same benefits.
Check Out The Traffic Beforehand
For many commuters, traffic is traffic, but sometimes taking a look at the traffic before you head out the door can help you prepare for what you can expect or what you may want to avoid. Check out traffic cams or download an app like Waze to get an up-to-date look at the roads and any delays due to accidents or construction. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast, too, as a rainy morning in Texas can make for a nightmarish commute. Preparedness may not always reduce the hassles of a morning commute, but it can help you stay safer.