How to reduce motoring stress... - Craggyislander

Coming back from Gloucester on the M4 yesterday , I began thinking about how the Government could begin to put to good use all the millions of pounds generated by speed cameras.
An education campaign on TV,Radio and in the press!!! Here's what they could cover:

1. Lane discipline - if the lane to your nearside is clear , then MOVE OVER! You don't need to sit in the outside or middle lane if lanes 2 and/or 1 are empty.

2.Lights - if its dark or raining , then use them.Check ALL of them each week (including your brake lights)to see that they actually work! Fog lights are only to be used when visibility is very poor i.e. in fog. Switch them off when its clear again.Also,that little blue light on your dash means your lights are on main beam - are you in traffic? Yes? Then dip them!!

3.Tax and Insurance - you do actually need these,to be legal and also to avoid an expensive personal lawsuit if you hit someone and are at fault.Have you actually done a driving test and passed?

4.Tyres- check they have tread on them and the pressures are correct.Check your oil/water/battery at least once a week.

5.Winter driving - don't drive unless you can see out of all your windows - clear your screen completely before you move off!

6.Driving in general - mention the two second rule and also show highlights of the piece on Fifth Gear about driving in the blind spots of lorries.

Any others I've missed?
How to reduce motoring stress... - Manatee
Good start there. How about "reduce speed and double your following distance in poor conditions"?

Just about every year (no poetic licence here) the first "foggy" (misty) morning and the first real frosty morning seem to result in the A41 between Aylesbury and the M25 being closed by an accident - you can just watch a steam of traffic nose to tail at 80+ and wait for the smash. This year's frosty one was about 3 weeks ago. We haven't had the foggy one yet.
How to reduce motoring stress... - PhilW
Perhaps they could use those new motorway signs to make those same points - briefly so that they are not too much of a distraction! The only use i've seen them put to is to tell you it's a 50 or 40 mph speed limit - usually when you are stationary in a jam.
How to reduce motoring stress... - henry k
4.Tyres- check they have tread on them and the pressures are
correct.Check your oil/water/battery at least once a week.

Checking the battery is not practical for most folks
Any others I've missed?

Get your eyes tested annually.
It may save you life when NOT in a car. I know of cases where serious health problems have been identified by an eye test.
Tell ALL 60s about this. You are not forced to get new specs.
It may save lives on the road.
It is FREE yes FREE for folk who are over 60.

We all know a proper eyesight test before you start driving should be the rule.
I would advocate points deducted for not wearing lenses if required by eye test.
I have some of the most expensive lenses available and in my spare specs too. I consider it a must to see as well as is possible without using contact lenses.
How to reduce motoring stress... - L'escargot
Try to not get wound up by any transgressions or foolishness of other motorists. Easier said than done, I know, but I am trying really hard to practice what I preach.
L'escargot by name, but not by nature.
How to reduce motoring stress... - Stuartli
If motorists followed the Highway Code to the letter there would be no motoring stress....
How to reduce motoring stress... - Nsar
Best way is to take maximum control of any given situation, even if it means you're delayed by a few seconds eg a 50/50 between two cars approaching a bottleneck - be decisive, ease off, let the other guy pass even if you think it's your ROW. You can drive on knowing he has done exactly what you wanted him to do and you were the one controlling what was happening. Not being in control of your circumstances is what causes stress.
How to reduce motoring stress... - No Do$h
Get your eyes tested annually.

Agree wholeheartedly. Mrs ND was complaining of problems driving home from Dorchester at night as the roads are poorly marked and oncoming traffic was severely impacting on visibility. I suggested an eyetest as it was 18 months since the last one.

New glasses have solved the problem. Mrs ND was horrified when she saw the difference that a minute adjustment in prescription made. It also transpired that the older glasses didn't have an anti-glare coating, which was not helping.
How to reduce motoring stress... - volvoman
All good stuff for the average motorist but the real trouble is that those who cause most of the stress and accidents i.e. the psychopaths and the dreamers won't take any notice - the former because they're so arrogant they won't be told anything by anyone and the latter because they're totally oblivious to everything and everyone around them.
How to reduce motoring stress... - Nsar
Hence my comment V. You're right of course and they'll never know that you've had them do what you wanted them to; they may even think they've won some little victory over you but that's a minor annoyance compared with getting into a situation where even though the law and good driving practice is on your side you've ended up in a head to head. It's not about being passive or a wimp, as I say, it's about deciding to use your skill and maturity to take charge of a situation. Doing otherwise is descending to the level of people without those qualities.
How to reduce motoring stress... - volvoman
Totally agree Nsar - it really is the best policy to just get on with your own driving as much as possible and not rise to the bait however tempting it might be.
How to reduce motoring stress... - jd
Best thing is to chill out. Let everyone else worry about getting away from the lights quicker, or sneaking in front of you, or not giving way.

It's amazing what a friendly wave will do to someone who has just cut you up ..... basically they are baffled cos that's the sort of people they are - so just let them get on with it.

Makes absolutely naff all difference to the final arrival time anyway, so what's the point in rushing ?

ps : took me about 30 years to realise this .........!

How to reduce motoring stress... - AdrianM
Slow down a little.

I've recently started commuting 90miles each way to work. First few weeks desperate to minimise my time on the road I would race home as fast as the traffic would permit. Result = stress and very tired all week. Recently tried slowing down primarily to ease fuel consumption (ie I ease up if I get much above 80). Result = less stress, less tired and , hand-on-heart, absolutely no difference to the time I get in at night.
How to reduce motoring stress... - Borafeck
Only a fool, breaks the 2 second rule. Already been penned in "roadcraft" tution for Police and advanced drivers.
How to reduce motoring stress... - Roger Jones
My faith in motoring humanity was somewhat dented a couple of decades ago when my then company boss followed me in the dark as we drove to the company dinner venue. A highly intelligent man, a published author, president of the Publishers Association, sharp business mind, cricketer, Hampstead intellectual socialite, sometime talking head on radio . . . drove on main beam so that, in his words, "I can see where I am going"; when asked why he had dazzled me all the way, he had not the slightest, not the faintest, idea that he was causing a serious problem for others. I expect he's still doing it. How on earth could something so basic have bypassed him?

But, Craggyislander, you're right. Bring back those public information ads that used to appear in the cinema and on TV. Now, how do we do something serious about this? HJ, why don't you spearhead a campaign for a continuous muti-media programme of driver education?
How to reduce motoring stress... - corblimeyguvnar
Drive courteously, be calm, ignore p******s, surprising how stress free a long drive can be if you be 'nice' to other drivers.
So the wife tells me anyway!
Drink Lager Talk Piffle !
How to reduce motoring stress... - Vin {P}
In the unlikely event anyone's interested, you can get a DVD with all the old public information fims on it at:

One that actually affected my behaviour was the old "Lay back, stay back, king of the road" one for motorcyclists. As, now I think of it, did "How's YOUR bedtime routine?".

How to reduce motoring stress... - volvoman
How many drivers out there are going to read all this common sense yet not apply any of it simply because they can't believe they're anything other than perfect drivers who know everything and never make mistakes - it's only ever other people who do that.
How to reduce motoring stress... - No Do$h
About 3 months ago I proposed a "just be nice to every other motorist day". Suffice to say it wasn't universally accepted.

Sadly I have to agree with your sentiment Mr V.Man, although if the behaviour of just a few motorists alters it will have a knock-on effect (no pun intended) to those motorists encountering unexpected courtesy on their travels.

That was the serious bit, now the trademark pun:

Behaviour breeds baaaaaaaaaa-haviour ;o)
How to reduce motoring stress... - patently
The old adage about "better to arrive late than not at all" was drummed into me from an early stage, but I have to admit I only really understood it when I became a father. That co-incided with the death of my stepfather, so the realisation dawned that I was not immortal - if my stepfather could die then so could my son's father....

I once found a driving tuiton book from the early 60s. The introduction said that the best way to drive was as if every other driver was incompetent and you were the one that had to compensate. Since reading that I've tried to anticipate what would be the most stupid or dangerous thing for the other road user(s) to do, such as "X will change lane without looking or indicating". Then, if they do, you get a smug sense of satisfaction that you saw that one coming and were ready for it, rather than the cold grip of fear that would normally result. If they don't, you also (oddly) get a little less cynical about the world, which is also a help to reducing stress. It also helps keep you focussed on the world outside the car.

Another trick is to watch your own driving carefully - none of us are perfect so every now and then you realise that someone else is cursing you. Next time someone does something stupid you are less likely to rant, if you remember doing it yourself.

The tactic that really worked for me was to adjust the way I rated my driving, from "how quick" to "how smooth". It's just as difficult to do, and probably more so around "interesting" bends.


Value my car