You’d love to work from home, but you have one of those jobs that requires a daily commute – and there are some days you feel like it’s sheer luck you make it to the office in one piece.
Is there anything you can do to make the commute less hazardous? While you can’t do a thing about the behavior of other drivers, there are some steps you can take that will help you stay a little safer each morning.
Minimizing distractions and maximizing your alertness would be key
A lot of safety planning comes down to managing your own expectations and experiences. in this case, that means:
- Get a good night’s sleep. Our culture may give bragging rights to the people who are always “on” and barely sleep because they have side hustles on top of side hustles, but a lack of sleep makes for a fatigued driver– and that’s a driver whose reflexes are slowed. If you have real trouble sleeping, talk it over with your doctor.
- Drink your coffee at home. If you rely on caffeine to jump start your day, it’s better to have the first cup before you leave your house. Not only does that mean you’ll get the benefits of that caffeine before you hit the road, it also means one less distraction behind the wheel – and distractions are deadly on commutes.
- Put your phone on mute. Speaking of distractions, your cellphone is one of the worst distractions you can handle in a car. Not only is it a manual distraction that requires you to take a hand off the wheel, it’s also a visual and mental distraction. If you’re thinking you can sneak a quick peak at the stoplight, think again: Your brain stays distracted a full 27 seconds after you look at the phone, and that’s plenty of time to miss a car running the light or a pedestrian who is jaywalking.)
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up in a wreck with a negligent driver (who may also be struggling to wake up and pull it together some morning). If that happens, make sure that you fully investigate your right to fair compensation for your injuries and losses.