Driving under stress is a pivotal cause of major road accidents. As per the National Library of Medicine, driving safety depends on stress factors, the adverse effect of which is not good.
It is quite natural to stress out while driving on or off duty. It might be due to traffic indiscipline, road rage, running late, or a bad client day.
Often this stress in your mind will impact your logical thinking ability. Your hands behind the wheel and your foot on the pedal will reciprocate that stress and frustration.
Delivery drivers often face this challenge, and catastrophic collisions happen. They are at the highest risk of experiencing workplace fatalities.
There are several ways you can try to overcome stress while you are driving on the job or off duty. In this post will educate you on the signs of driving stress and how to overcome it.
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5 Warning Signs that Make You a Stressed Driver
Stress affects drivers in various ways. While reading this article, you might think that you can control your gush of emotions and thoughts at the moment. But you shouldn’t risk it by waiting for time to test your capability to handle stress.
Instead, it is better if you learn about the signs you should worry about and get remedies to manage them while you are on the job or on your way to some destination. To begin with, here are the five major warning signs that prove you are under driving stress.
1. Feeling distracted
When you are under stress, it will feel like everything around you is bothering you. Your attention will be deviated to what your co-driver is talking about or how the other drivers are driving.
It will make you moody and will divert your focus from the road. Your logical thinking ability to maneuver and handle the vehicle in sudden situations will be blocked at that moment.
2. Buzzing phone
The moment of stress, especially if you are a delivery driver, is when the customers or the warehouse officials keep calling you constantly when you are on duty.
Constant buzzing of the phone will trigger dangerous driving behaviors. When you are already late in delivering the packages, and your manager and customers are calling without a halt, it is natural for you to get stressed.
3. Getting lost
When driving to a destination with no clue or route plan, one wrong turn can get you lost in a completely different path. It increases the stress levels, as you are time bound and have wasted extra fuel on the wrong route.
Delivery drivers also face additional issues, as bigger trucks need time and area to make a U-turn. It will stress you out, as you are being paid for timely deliveries, and such unwanted halts will contribute to your mental health.
Delivery driving is a profession where you choose to be alone on the routes. At first, you are confident you can do that, as you don’t want your boss to give you constant instructions on what to do.
But for a few instances, you might feel like you need someone to talk to or have food with, to have good company while delivering distant packages. If you are feeling alone, then it is probably a sign of a stressed driver, which affects driving focus.
5. Sleepy eyes
Poor sleep quality will lead to drowsiness while you are driving your way to a timebound destination. You will develop a feeling of regret and stress to meet the deadline safely as you can’t spare time to sleep anymore. You can’t keep your calm at such times.
Does Driving Stress Impact Your Job?
Yes, driving stress will impact your job in ways you shouldn’t imagine. The worst scenario you face is that you will lose your job.
Delivery driving in all trades is timebound. As stated earlier, late deliveries and constant follow-up calls will stress you out while you are behind the wheel.
If you don’t remain calm, you can never beat the stress and its adverse impacts. Stress will not help you get the work done on time. Instead, it will risk traffic accidents when you rush your truck to meet the deadlines.
How to Overcome Driving Stress?
There are ways you can control your stress while on duty. But the basis of all is to remain cautious at all times because you cannot risk your own life and of the people around you on the road. The ways to reduce stress while driving are:
1. Take breaks
When you are under stress and facing mental health issues, keep aside time for concerns, delivery, or warehouse calls for a moment. Just park your vehicle in a safe spot and get down to get fresh air or rest. A few minutes off duty won’t bother anyone and is understandable.
2. Find your “Me” time
You must look for ways to reduce the time you spend on work. If you constantly overwork for avoidable reasons, it will trigger your frustration. Winding up the job soon and going home to have your own time is a stress-free feeling.
When you crack that code, you will see how stress-free you will be on the road. The hope to return home early and relax is a stress-free thought.
3. Avoid manual route planning
Manual route planning gives rise to one of the most stressful situations. Often stress is triggered due to inappropriate routes.
Manual routes lead to delayed deliveries at multiple stops and increase your work duration. Additionally, inappropriate route information can get you stuck in traffic, road construction, or a wrong route.
All these incidences will increase your anxiety levels and give rise to negative emotions. The solution is you must get an automated route planner for the job.
Upper Route Planner is the best pick, which has features to add multiple stops to automated routes and allows you to make optimizations on the go. It will pick strategic routes to shorten the distance and re-route automatically in case of traffic alerts.
How Can Upper Route Planner Improve Your Driving Performance?
Upper Route Planner provides automated routes for your deliveries at multiple stops. It shortens the distance that you cover to reach those stops. The traffic patterns are assessed by the planning algorithm of Upper Route Planner to minimize unwanted halts.
When you have a planned route with proper navigation, you won’t face any frustrating situations such as taking wrong routes, getting stuck in traffic, spending more time at work, and others.
Consider a 7-day FREE trial of Upper Route Planner, and you will realize how it has helped many drivers to limit their stress levels and stay calm while driving.
Release Your Driving Stress with Upper
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When you are late to complete a job or reach your work location, you tend to rush your vehicle through the traffic without thinking about other drivers. And that is called aggressive driving when you violate the traffic discipline to satisfy your stress.
A few things you must consider for easing your stress while driving are:
- Listen to relaxing music.
- Adjust your sitting position.
- Take deep breaths.
- Get quality sleep.
Keep assessing your stress level while driving. You must know when you are feeling anxious. Only then will you be able to pull over and find a solution to it. Avoid using manual routes as they will trouble you on your delivery pursuit. As a result, you will be open to more stress and anxiety. Have extra time to permit yourself breaks to feel lightheaded at stressful hours.