Ride-along with Trooper Steve: How to handle stress while driving

Trooper Steve offers 3 key tips for drivers who are stressed out

ORLANDO, Fla. – Have you ever been driving around and for no reason just feel pretty stressed out?

Several students emailed me from throughout the area asking how they could reduce some of the anxiety they are experiencing while driving. With Central Florida having both extremes of the driving age spectrum, I figured "let’s see what we can do."

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Going into anything with a plan always prepares yourself for the issues that come about. Having a plan also includes having a back-up plan. It's important to know that your plan may not go as desired. During the course of your travel, ensure that you give yourself time for any mistakes that you make or that may occur around you. Allotting at least an extra 10 minutes per trip can help reduce time-related stress.

What kills me is when I’m driving and I see an aggressive driver weaving in and out of traffic just to be stopped next to them at the next traffic light. There is absolutely no reason why someone needs to dart in and out of traffic. Not only is it dangerous but it contributes to your aggression. We are all trying to get somewhere in a rather quick fashion -- so why end up there stressed out?  Pick a lane, stay in your lane and just maintain. 

Finally, know your own driving ability. Knowing what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable while behind the wheel will make you a better driver. If you know that driving on I-4 drives you insane, then plan a different route. Having this alternative route makes for a save trip for you and everyone around you.

Driving can be the best thing that we encounter in our lives, but equally just as dangerous. Staying calm, knowing your skill level and having a plan can eliminate much stress while behind the wheel. 

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