City of Seattle, I love you. Like with a deep down, fiercely loyal kind of love. The skyline (swoon), the water, the technology, the music, and a long list of other attributes are what makes this city so great. The downside of such a great city is that more and more people keep moving here, making the roads more and more crowded. That’s my number one complaint with this city. The traffic is awful. For four years I worked in North Seattle and lived in West Seattle. There were nights when it took me almost two hours to get home. Insane! I just couldn’t take it anymore and it was one of the reasons I ended up leaving that place of employment.
Lately, I’ve been very intentional about trying to lower my stress level. As a result, I’ve changed how I approach my travel outlook. I will get stuck in traffic at times, that’s just a given of living here. However, I can improve the quality of that time I’m on the road and make it safer for me and for others. As you’ll see in the infographic below, October is the month where most traffic accidents occur, so what better time to draw attention and awareness to our commute. The Car Accident Lawyers at Khan Law Firm agree and today we are partnering together to make the Seattle experience a better one.
Stress Less on Seattle Roads – 5 Ways to Become a More Calm and Safe Driver
This post is sponsored by Car Accident Lawyers at Khan Law Firm. All opinions are honest and mine alone. Thank you for supporting the companies that support ChasingMyHalo.
Give yourself a travel cushion.
This one’s kind of obvious, right?! It’s so true, though! When I’m running late I tend to make bad driving decisions. Add 10-15 minutes more than you think it will take you. That way, when traffic is bad, (which it usually is) it’s not panic-inducing. Listen to an audio book or something that will make you look forward to spending extra time in the car.
Use a current-time navigational app.
I love the Waze app so much. It’s like my personal road wizard. I can check traffic before I leave and it gives me a pretty accurate time frame of when I’ll arrive at my destination, as well as all the secret squirrel back roads to get me there. It also alerts you to road obstructions, accidents, and traffic jams up ahead. I set it up in a holder on my dashboard so it’s hands-free and I can listen to the directions and warnings without even having to look. It’s fantastic and if you live in a big city I’d say it’s a must-have.
Have an easily accessible snack handy.
This one comes with a big disclaimer. Don’t let the snack distract you from the road. When I first get in my car at the end of the day I’m famished and a little irritable. If I have a light snack like a Lara Bar or trail mix at the ready, I turn into a better person. Thereby, a much more patient driver. I’m also not as rushed to get home. The infographic below shows how 5:00 on Friday evenings in the most common time for accidents. That doesn’t surprise me with everyone in a rush to start their weekends. At least if you take being hangry out of the equation, you rush will be a little less!
Plan for texting time.
This one goes a little with giving yourself a cushion but I like to check my texts and social media before I leave anywhere. So as much as I want to run out the door after work, I check my phone first and respond to anything before I put the keys in the ignition. Then, I set my phone out of reach and know that I’ll be able to check it when I get home or at my next stop. As a blogger, it’s extremely tempting to constantly be connected. Sometimes, I need to remind myself how precious life so I can put the phone down!
Make sure your car is maintained.
There are few scenarios more stressful than running out of gas or breaking down on the freeway outside downtown Seattle. Or windshield wipers that can’t keep up with our rain. Our months, and months, of rain:(. Staying on top of those normal, responsible car-owner things like getting the oil changed, keeping the gas tank full, and replacing parts as needed will make your time on the road safer and decrease those stressful situations. Which reminds me, I need to schedule a few appointments for my auto needs…
What do you do to stay sane on the roads? Let me know in the comments and check out the infographic below. Stay safe Seattle!