Playing it Safe
Planning your route and developing a clear sense of where you’re going can help you stay safe on the road
By Inbal axelrod
Driving is a dynamic experience, and there are so many important factors on the road that sometimes even the most experienced driver can overlook if they are tired, stressed or otherwise distracted.
Even more, one simple slip up can lead to accidentally taking a wrong turn and reaching unfamiliar territory – which in turn creates more stress and less focus on the road. However, this can all be avoided if you aim to develop a clear sense of where you are going before you set off – in other words, if you plan your journey.
Whether you’re going on a short trip to the grocery store, or have multiple destinations to reach around town, we’ve gathered some points on why planning your route will increase your safety on the road, and minimize and stress you may bear.
Understanding our vulnerability on the road is the first step in ensuring safety while driving. But, of course, there is more to it than simple understanding. We need to be sure that we remain focused on the road at all times, and to do so it’s crucial to remove any variables that can be dealt with beforehand, such as your route.
We all have a schedule to follow whether we’re on the road to run some errands, on a road trip, or for work. But, with some cities being built like a maze, arriving at new locations, or having a general bad sense of direction, it’s very easy to get lost and start worrying about meeting that schedule or even simply where to make a U-turn.
This means, that rather than focusing on where you are on the road, for example, busy main roads or dangerous junctions, you find yourself fixated on getting back on track. This not only increases yours and others risk on the road but also is guaranteed to make you more stressed.
But, this could all be avoided if you familiarize yourself with where you are going, and plan your journey. Regardless of the number of stops you need to make, if you have a pre-planned route that you can follow, you can forget about needing to know every turn you must take, and place the focus back on your driving while following the route.
Therefore, when you do reach those unfamiliar road layouts or tricky overtaking opportunities you’re 100 percent focused on what you are doing, rather than where you are going.
We all know that getting lost affects the quality of driving. However, the experience doesn’t seem to be bad enough to prepare the next time we get into the car. But, getting lost and reaching unfamiliar roads does have some impact on safety due to worrying about where you are going or missing your appointment. Therefore, being distracted significantly increases the risks on the road.
In reality, we all have busy schedules so most of the time the last thing people have time for is to sit and plan. But, avoiding a fraught journey is the key to safe driving as you are less likely to get distracted and make mistakes. And, this can be achieved with preparation and planning. By planning, you can avoid being rushed, always know where you’re going, and therefore avoid any mistakes. A wrong turn is an easy error to fix with a planned route, and you’ll guarantee that you will feel more confident about finding your destination.
Manage Your Journey
Before you set out, ask yourself if you really need to make the trip. If you can achieve your work or errand without driving just as effectively then it would be best to stay off the road.
If you must drive, then ensure that you’re well-rested, ready and relaxed about the upcoming trip – as stress leads to possible incidents.
So, rather than leaving everything to chance, you should plan your journey. Now, you don’t have to do painstaking research of the route or have a meticulous plan, but a simple route that will keep you on track will suffice. There are countless tools online, and off, that can assist you in planning, such as a satnav, Google Maps, an online route planner for multi-stop journeys, and even a paper map.
With your planned route, you’ll be able to efficiently reach all your destinations while saving money on fuel, and ensure you’re on the road for less time. Thereby, leading to safer driving by greatly reducing any risk of accidents.
Side note – even with a planned route it’s important to check the route, and ensure that you have a backup route just in case there is a problem with your original route. It’s better to be prepared than find yourself frantic.
So, no matter the reason for being on the road, ensuring you are well-rested, focused and in control is crucial. And, having a well-planned route is the way to do so. A route will not only lead to fewer mistakes but also, less time on the road. Thereby, efficiently helping you arrive at your destinations safely and with time to spare. With so many types of planners on the market, the right one is out there for you.
Try out the different options, as they could make the difference between managing to keep to your schedule worry and accident-free or, in the worst case, you may find yourself in an unsafe road situation.
Inbal Axelrod is the co-founder and CMO at MyRouteOnline, a multiple stop route planner that helps make our world greener. Individuals visiting multiple locations can plan their routes online, optimize their route, and spend less fuel and time on the road. This means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, a reduced carbon footprint, and better air quality. Inbal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.