Road Rage: Dealing With It Safely

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There is nothing better than driving on the open road, the beautiful scenery ahead and the wind in your hair. All seems fine until you notice the person in front is driving at ten miles an hour, or you see somebody talking on their cell phone. Suddenly your calm and serenity disappear, replaced by feelings of frustration as you angrily beep your horn at the other road user. Welcome to road rage, one of the biggest dangers on the road today.

Road rage is a curious thing. No matter how calm and friendly a person is in everyday life, once behind the wheel of the car, there can be a transformation of Jekyll and Hyde proportions. The smallest event can make a person angry, and if those feelings are not dealt with, what happens next could prove costly and life threatening.

It is likely you have experienced some form of road rage in your life. Whether you have found yourself shouting at other people from behind the wheel, or been the victim of somebody else’s wrath, it is important to protect yourself and the lives of others on the road.

Therefore, consider the following advice that could prove life saving.


Controlling yourself


Road rage generally comes from feelings of stress. Driving can be pleasurable, but sometimes other drivers or pedestrians can aggravate the negative feelings we have circling through our unconsciousness. Therefore, you need to alleviate your stress by doing some of the following:

Listen to relaxing music that will calm your nerves.

If you know you need to be somewhere at a certain time, set off early, so you’re not stressed through being in a rush.

Think before you act. Another driver may annoy you, but should you beep your horn in anger or drive irresponsibly in vengeance, you could cause an accident and be at risk of having your license taken away from you.

Pull over to the side of the road and let yourself calm down.

Remember other people can be irresponsible, it’s a common fact of life. Accept it, take some deep breaths and carry on.



Protecting yourself

When it comes to others causing road rage against you, there is the need to look after yourself. Consider the following.

Purchase a dash cam that can record the actions of the driver. Should you be involved in an accident, the footage can support you should you hire the services of a car accident lawyer, and is invaluable when dealing with insurance companies.

It is important you don’t make matters worse by copying their action and fueling their anger further.

Avoid eye contact with an offending driver as you may make their behavior worse. Ignore them, and carry on with your journey.

If the car behind is tailgating you, let it pass. Once they are out of your way, you can continue safely.

Finally, be a safe driver. Should you drive responsibly, there is less reason for other drivers to get angry at you.

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The Unromantic Road Trip

In both film and book, life on the road is glorified as an iconic, life-affirming experience. Read any extract of Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ to get an idea of how much he hailed the freedom of the driving experience. And, he’s not alone. Artists across the world have tried to capture the power of the open road. Is it any wonder, then, that a summer road trip is high on most people’s to-do list?
Many of us set out with high hopes that we’ll return changed too.

Now, we don’t want to rain on your road-trip parade. No one can deny that life on the road can open your eyes to a new way of being. There is, after all, something meditative about driving. But, there’s also no denying that many return from road trips disappointed. In truth, life on the road just isn’t as amazing as some would have us believe. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy your time. But, it might help to lower your expectations before you head off. For example, here are some downsides you might not have considered.

THE COST

Many of us opt for a close to home road trip because we assume it’ll be cheaper than going abroad. If that’s your motivation, prepare to be disappointed. For one, you’ll need a complete check on your vehicle before you set off. To avoid breakdowns, you’ll need a complete oil change and a full tank. If you want to cut costs, something like these oil change deals will help. But, you’ll still have to part with some cash to get your vehicle up to standard.

That’s not the only cost, either. You’ll also need to consider where you’ll sleep. Depending on how long you’re away for, those motel costs will add up. And, while sleeping in the car may seem glamorous, you’ll soon change your mind after one night. Might be worth taking a tent with you!

THE RISK OF GETTING LOST

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We may have sat nav nowadays, but it’s still possible you’ll get lost. Nothing kills that sense of adventure quite like not knowing where you are. This can be particularly stressful if you have certain places to be or bookings in hotels along the way. If you’re tempted to head off with little planning, don’t do it. Plan your route as extensively as possible before you go. And, make sure to take a map along with you. Sometimes, the old fashioned ways are best.

WHAT ABOUT THE BEAUTY?

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And, don’t be surprised if the roads are lacking in that beauty you’ve been expecting. There’s no denying that there are some beautiful roads out there, but most are uninspiring. If you’re traveling across states, the chances are you’ll be driving long, gray strips with nothing going for them. If beautiful drives are what you’re after, you may want to opt instead for the longer country routes. Or, you could accept the lack of beauty, and stop off at pretty places along the way.

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Why Driving Drowsy Is Just as Bad as Driving Drunk

We’ve probably all heard about driving drunk. Your reactions are a lot slower, you feel more inclined to take risks, and you simply can’t focus if you try to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Not only that, but you’re likely to be caught by the authorities and be fined as well as given a criminal record. If you want to avoid this at all costs, then you simply stop drinking and control your alcohol intake. We all know it’s a bad thing that you shouldn’t do, but did you know that driving while tired is actually just as dangerous?

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Think about your drowsy self

 

When you’re sleepy, what happens? The first thing that you’ll notice is that your eyes become heavy and they may occasionally shut. As a driver, your most important tool is your pair of eyes. Without them, you can’t see anything in front of you. You won’t be able to spot the red light, you won’t see the oncoming truck, and you won’t see that cyclist that’s losing control of his bike and swerving into you. The last thing you want is to get on the phone to a car accident personal injury attorney during your morning commute, so why would you want to drive drowsy again?

 

Another effect of being sleepy is that you’re fatigued. Even if you are able to keep your eyes open, your entire body becomes slow and you won’t be able to pay attention to anything around you—including the road. You essentially become a dangerous threat on the road that is both unpredictable and unavoidable. This is exactly the same as what you’d feel if you tried to drive while under the influence. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to tell if someone is drowsy. To determine if a driver is drunk or not, police often use a test to check for alcohol in someone’s breath. Unless the driver has heavy eyes and is falling asleep, then there’s really no way to tell if someone is tired or not. It’s also hard to determine if someone was tired or not at a crash scene, making it even more difficult to identify.

 

Signs that you’re tired

 

So we’ve already gone through two symptoms of drowsiness: heavy eyes and fatigue. However, there are some more subtle signs that you should keep in mind as well. If you’re frequently blink while you drive, then it could be an indication that your eyes are starting to become heavy. If you find yourself daydreaming a lot as well, then it could be because your mind isn’t focusing very well and you’re losing track of what you’re doing. Yawning is also a common indication of drowsiness.

 

If you find yourself suffering any of those above symptoms, then take a moment to relax. Stop your car as soon as possible in a safe place and take a brief nap. It’s better to arrive at your destination in once piece a little later than schedule than not arrive at all. Driving while drunk and sleepy carry the same risks and symptoms, so the next time you want to force yourself into work while sleepy, consider drinking a couple more cups of coffee and taking a brief nap before you get in the car.

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On The Open Road: A Career As A Truck Driver

Choosing the right career can often leave you feeling overwhelmed with the options you have available. Whether you are fresh out of school, struggling with a midlife crisis, or just wanting a change of direction and more flexibility, you might find yourself looking at your options and making a decision. You may, or may not, have considered a career on the open road before as a truck driver. It can be a very rewarding career path to choose. If you are considering this option then here are some of the things you should consider.

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Do you enjoy driving?

 

One of the first things to ask yourself is whether or not you actually enjoy driving. After all, that is what this career choice entails. Driving for long stretches of time, and often at different times of the day in all kinds of weather conditions. You need to also make sure you are physically and mentally up for the challenge. Not only are you sitting and driving for long periods of time, but you will also be spending a lot of time on your own. This can be hard for someone who isn’t comfortable in their own company.

 

Do you need additional tests and qualifications on your license?

 

Depending on what avenue of truck driving you embark on, you may find that you need to take additional tests to make sure your driving license is up to date with what vehicles you can drive. This might mean training and cost from the outset, so make sure you are prepared for that.

 

Accidents do happen

 

Even though you are driving a big vehicle accident can still happen, and some cases, they can be much worse due to the size of the vehicle. But don’t worry as this can be taken care of when entrusting the help of trucking accidents lawyers to take on your case. You may not be at fault or may have suffered an injury because of it. The experts can ensure everything is handled correctly, so although this may be a worry for taking on this career, you are assured that you have people on your side.

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Be comfortable with your choice

 

Some companies will offer you two sorts of job opportunities when it comes to driving trucks for them. You may choose to do a standard 40-hour working week. In this case, you will turn up, driver your truck for the set working day, and then return home each day. You may find the journeys are shorter in this circumstance. Other options include driving longer distance which may see you traveling huge distances and being away from home.

 

Be aware of other duties involved

 

It sometimes doesn’t end with driving the truck. In some job situations, you may be required to unload or load the truck. This may mean a bit of heavy lifting. You might be best to ensure that you are in good health to take on this sort of role. Or, make sure you go for a truck driving job that just means driving only, and the responsibility of the load lies elsewhere.

 

I hope this helps you if this is a career choice you are making.

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Things to Consider Before a Road Trip

The all singing all dancing road trip is still a top idea for people wanting to get away and do something a little different. It can be a really liberating and freeing feeling to just throw your essentials into the back of your car and head off onto the open road, however there are some things that need your consideration first.

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Stay Safe

 

If you are planning to drive anywhere through vast expanses of land you will need to make sure you have enough water, food and petrol to keep you going in case you don’t find anywhere to stop and refuel (yourself or your car) for long periods of time.

 

You will also need to be mindful that you don’t get too carried away with the freedom and liberating feeling that a road trip brings. It is easy to think that the normal driving rules don’t apply on a legendary road trip, but drinking and driving, for example, is a big no-no. A sure-fire way to bring an abrupt end to your trip is having to search out the best DUI attorney to get you out of an alcohol induced car accident.

 

Clean Your Car

 

Your car is inevitably going to go through the mill on a road trip. Spending hours at a time, for days on end, in your car means that you are certainly going to need to give it a little TLC upon your return. However it is easy to forget that before you go you should also be giving your car a thorough clean out to ensure that when you set off your car is clean, organised and ready to go.

 

Mechanical Check

 

You should also go to see your local mechanic to make sure that your car is up to a big road trip and that it is not going to let you down at the most inopportune moment. Tell your mechanic that you are planning to go on a road trip so that they know the specific areas that they need to be looking for. They will need to check that your fluid levels are healthy, that your brakes are at optimum functionality, that your tires are fully pumped and still reasonably new and anything else that could potentially cause you any problems along the way.

 

Plan

 

We know that it is not considered ‘cool’ to plan a road trip to the nth degree however a little light planning can avoid a lot of problems later on. Over Scheduling a trip can mean that you miss lots of the details that you were really excited about as you realise that you are running out of time. On the flip side, not doing enough research on the places you will be passing through will mean that you can miss some really amazing things along the way.

 

To avoid, putting in unnecessary extra miles at each new destination, research hotels and accommodation in each area that you intend to stay in. After a long day driving the last thing you will want to do is circulate a new town or city for hours looking for places to stay so this research and pre-planning will really pay off in the long run.

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3 Biggest Threats To Your Safety While Driving

Learning to drive is well worth your time as it can help you get around town a lot easier. Plus, it gives you that extra sense of freedom as you don’t have to rely on anyone to give you lifts everywhere. Perhaps the biggest bonus of all is that it means you don’t have to handle public transport anymore!

But, driving can be quite dangerous, and there are many threats to your safety while you’re behind the wheel of your vehicle. I think it’s helpful to know of these threats so you can make extra sure you avoid them and keep yourself safe. So, here’s a list of the biggest threats to your safety while driving:

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Trucks/Lorries

Large trucks and lorries are a huge threat to your safety when you’re driving. They’re just really bulky and can obscure your view, making it really hard to drive safely. If you get stuck behind a lorry, then your driving experience is made a lot worse. You’re left with two options; put up with the slow moving traffic, or overtake them. The only problem is, it’s hard to see around the truck to know if you’re overtaking safely. Plus, the driver has a hard time seeing you and other vehicles behind you as well. All of this adds up to make trucks very dangerous while you drive.

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Motorcycles

Motorcycles are a big threat to your safety as they’re extremely fast and can creep up on you before you know it. They’re especially dangerous when you’re turning at a junction as they can appear out of nowhere. If you speak to any motorcycle accident lawyer, they’ll tell you the majority of accidents happen at junctions when a car pulls out thinking it’s safe only to be blindsided by a speeding motorcycle. So, be aware of them on the roads and double check for them whenever you’re at a junction.

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Rain

Yes, rain is a big threat to your safety while driving. However, this is mainly because very few people know how to drive in it. When it rains, you need to slow down, take your foot off the gas, and use your brakes more vigorously. Everything you do should be more calculated and thought through. You should be braking extra early as your tires struggle to grip the wet roads. Rain just makes the driving conditions more hazardous, as well as the wet roads you also have to deal with a wet windscreen. This means you have to turn your wipers on, and it can add a distraction while you drive. Bear this in mind when you’re driving, so you adjust the way you drive when it gets wet and rainy.

By being aware of these threats, you can make an effort to be more conscious of them when you’re driving. If you see a truck or motorcycle, you start being more alert as you know you have to think more when you’re around one. Likewise, you can take greater care when you see it’s raining to avoid getting into an accident.

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Top Tips for a Summer Road Trip

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Summer is here! Which means sunny road trips with the windows down are just around the corner! Not only are they a way to save money on airfare and to have some fun-filled adventures on the road, but how else are you going to get to the mountains? Whether you’re traveling with a minivan full of kids or you’re taking a trip up the coast with your friends, here are four top tips to help ensure a road trip to remember, for the right reasons!

 

Bring a paper map

 

Before you see the dreaded “no service” pop up on your smartphone, which will keep Map Quest or Siri from getting you where you need to go, make sure to bring along a paper map or a print-out from your go-to site for directions, just in case. They may feel old fashioned, but they are reliable and don’t run out of battery in the middle of nowhere! After the trip, you can always get crafty and turn those maps into coasters or add them into scrapbooking pages.

 

Charge up your gadgets

 

We all have our must-bring gadgets for road trips, like smartphones and tablets, but don’t forget the accessories that go along with them, like a solar charger, which lets you power up your cell phone, digital camera, or iPad from wherever you are. Another must-have is a universal car inverter to keep laptops, and DVD players juiced up since they often don’t hold more than two to three hours of battery power. Also, grab a headphone splitter so two can share the audio of a DVD or audiobook.

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Don’t forget the essentials

 

Just because you’re away from your home and your kitchen, doesn’t mean you need to eat fast food or camp out in restaurants at meal times. Remember to bring along plates, bowls, napkins, and utensils, then taking excursions to the grocery store for food you can easily prep on your own, like sandwiches and salads. Be sure to bring a cooler, too! Even picking up oatmeal packets and cereal bars is better than snacking on donuts for breakfast at gas stations, and it’s a lot healthier and economical, too.

 

If you are driving through some serious heat, be sure to stock up on a tonneau cover or two to cover the seats. This means that when you get back to the car after spending an afternoon exploring, you won’t be sitting on burning chairs. Reuseable water bottles, flasks, and a camping stove are also useful when on a road trip.

 

Set expectations

 

When traveling with a group, whether beloved family members or favorite friends, communicate beforehand (in-person or on the phone) to talk about what each person wants to do and see in order to manage expectations during the trip. Arrange a pre-trip pow-wow to avoid potential tensions that may arise if one person dominates the itinerary. Also, be flexible to ensure everyone in the car has a good time and gets to do many of the things they want to along the way.

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