Driving is one of the most routine things we do on a daily basis. We drive to our jobs. We drive our kids to school. We even drive to the beach on Sunday afternoons with the family. For something we do so much, we often forget how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel of a car. And driving a lot increases the risk of something bad happening.
Insurance companies often charge their drivers more money for premiums if their insurance mileage limit is very high. Drivers are a greater risk to the insurer if they are constantly on the road. Someone who only drives for entertainment, and takes a bus or their bike to work is going to get better rates.
We’ll talk about why driving a lot can be bad for your physical and mental well-being. We’ll also talk about some of the ways you can make driving safer if there is no other way to get around. Getting more sleep and purchasing a car that has great, modern safety features is a good way to start taking care of yourself on the road.
#1 – You Waste a Lot of Time
There’s no doubt a drive along the coast or a winter road trip is a great way to spend some leisure time. What’s a waste of time is driving through the same, boring concrete jungle you live in downtown to get to your job every day. Traffic and commuting are some of the worst uses of time humans are forced to endure during their lives.
Imagine you are in the car for two hours each day to get to work and get back home. Then multiply that by five days a week, and now we’re at 10 hours. Say you work about 48 weeks a year, excluding vacation. We’re now at 480 hours total, and multiply this by 35 years on a job. That’s approximately 700 days—nearly two years of your life wasted by driving to work.
Thank goodness for the remote working environment that has been infused into our culture during the pandemic. People realized they didn’t have to waste time anymore, and many folks have permanently transitioned to a remote lifestyle for their job. For those who haven’t been able to do so, asking for a hybrid model is better than nothing.
For those who enjoy the act of driving, this may not seem like any big deal. Finding a car that has great gas mileage, modern safety features, and comfortable seats may make driving feel like a dream.
There is no shame in getting the best out of a bad situation. But even the biggest fan of driving will admit it would be more fun to be doing something else than sitting on the highway after a long day at a job.
#2 – You Will Have Increased Insurance Rates
All this time on the road is potentially going to make your insurance company very nervous. Even the best drivers are going to be at a higher risk of getting into an accident when they are driving all day, every day. Avoiding a bad driving record should help with this, but driving less would be the ideal scenario for your insurance company.
Try to walk anywhere close enough to your house to avoid vehicle use. This is also a great way to get some exercise into your daily routine. Riding a bike is another great way to find alternative transportation.
Getting on a train, a bus, or a light rail is also an option, but public transportation isn’t the most fun way to get to work with all of the crowds on these vehicles. Deciding to drive less may make your life inconvenient in another way. If this is going to bother you, find ways to decrease your insurance prices through other methods.
Install a device in your car that will track your driving habits and result in discounts. These applications are named differently at different companies, but they all serve the same purpose. Things like speed, braking, and time of day you are driving will all be more readily available to your insurer, and they can give you discounts for good driving behavior.
#3 – You Will Find Yourself Very Tired
Being on the road a lot is stressful. It takes a lot of attentiveness and focus to not get into an accident. These qualities and skills behind the wheel are especially tough to maintain when you are up early every morning to drive to work. Falling asleep behind the wheel is one of the biggest risks of driving too much.
Make sure that you are getting enough sleep each night if you have a long drive in the morning. See if you can pull over on the side of the road if you realize that you are getting drowsy while driving. Let your boss know you were late for personal reasons. Health and safety should always be the priority when driving.
Strategies that you could try to stay more aware when you are tired range from turning on some music to blowing the air conditioner. You could also try to put your seat at the sharpest angle possible, rather than reclining the seat. If all else fails, ask someone to drive you if you don’t feel like you can stay awake.
#4 – Experiencing Road Rage Isn’t Fun
When you are on the road a lot, you are much more likely to experience arrogant, rash drivers. People often feel very powerful on the road. Their car becomes a barrier between you and them, and slurs, insults, and other rage-filled actions start running amok. If you ever feel like another driver is threatening you, try to de-escalate the situation.
Don’t encourage bad behavior by engaging in the same anger that others are experiencing. Maybe they are having a bad day. Perhaps something horrible is happening in their life. Move on and accept other people are going to take out their troubles on you when they are behind the wheel.
Hopefully, you can see all of the risks of driving too much. If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of financial and personal risks that driving presents to you, try to take a step back and find alternatives. It’s better than getting into a fatal accident.
Shawn Laib writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. He wants to help drivers understand how moderation is the key to a safe driving experience.