You’ve driven this road a thousand times before. You’ve done it so much, in fact, that you feel like you could do it in your sleep. It’s so early in the morning, and you are so tired and sure that you could do the drive with your eyes closed that you let your eyes slip. It’s the perfect recipe for disaster.
If you drive enough, same route, same car, you can become complacent. This, in turn, is dangerous to the drivers around you. You’ve done it so many times that you can’t imagine it ever being different. Until one day it is. The day you get into an accident.
How can we, as experienced drivers, keep ourselves from falling into the lull of complacent driving? There is no miracle cure, but I do have a few suggestions.
Switch it Up
You can’t switch up your route, but you can switch up how you drive. Try using different surroundings to keep you alert. Audio books work really well for me. I’m a writer so I analyze the stories and what makes them good as I listen. I absorb the detail and store them away for ideas that may help me improve my writing. It’s a great way for me to stay alert.
Other ideas are learning a new language via audio or talking to yourself. Therapeutic, and a way to stay alert.
Make it a Game
Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if driving was like Mario Cart? Or how about Frogger? Thinking of driving in this way can not only keep your focus on the road, but help you stay alert. If only you had a blue shell for that idiot riding your tail, or an invincibility star for the two guys creating a road block in front of you.
Or maybe you could think of a game of your own. Looking for symbols in the street signs. Guessing where people are headed and why. It’s a great way to keep yourself entertained and alert.
Create a Playlist
If you’re a music buff like me, an energizing playlist can hit the spot. Something that makes you want to get up and go and drive for miles. Switch it up often so you don’t get bored and let the music take you to wherever it is that you need to be. I love using Spotify because it’s one payment a month with as many songs as you want to add or subtract to your playlist. Since I’m always looking for new music, this is the best option for me. I can get sick of songs easily, so I always need the latest and greatest.
No matter what you do, it is possible to have a safe and concentrated drive without becoming complacent. Make sure you find what works for you and apply it. We all want to have peace of mind on the road, and the first and best place to start is with yourself. Happy driving!